Real-Time Rail

Canada’s new real-time payments system called the Real-Time Rail will provide 24/7/365 payments that are final and irrevocable. At launch the system will feature account number based routing and ISO 20022 messaging to support data-rich payments.

Check our Real-Time Rail fact sheet for more.

Key Outcomes

  • Provides faster alternatives to less efficient payments options (e.g. cheques and cash)
  • Supports last-minute payments (e.g. credit card or bill payments) and provides certainty of receipt
  • Acts as a platform for innovation allowing ecosystem players, including financial institutions and payment service providers to develop enhanced and new ways for Canadians to pay for goods and services, and transfer money
  • Supports ecosystem players being able to provide new competitive services to help improve the customer experience in a wide range of payment scenarios such as bill payments, social media payments, and QR-code payments
  • Enables more convenient payment options using simple identifiers, instead of complex banking information

Timeline

2018 – 2019

Initial approach planning and design

2019 – 2020

Revised approach planning and design

2020 – 2022

Build and testing

2022

Real-Time Rail go live

FAQs

The Real-Time Rail is Canada’s new payments system expected to go-live in 2022. With the ability to reach more deposit accounts in Canada, this new system will support real-time payments/instant payments 24/7/365  that are irrevocable, assuring they are final and can’t be undone. It will also act as a platform for innovation, allowing for new products and services that give Canadians new ways to pay and transfer money. 

At launch the system will feature account number based routing and ISO 20022 messaging to support data-rich payments.

An always available system that delivers funds in less than 60 seconds —providing a real-time capability — is required for Canada to keep pace, and to meet the needs of Canadians as identified during Payments Canada’s public consultation for the future of payments in Canada.

Canada is unique from other countries as we already have existing forms of real-time payments. However, the current examples of real-time payments services provide funds to Canadians in near real time, as the movement of funds between the sender’s and receiver’s banks (settlement) does not actually occur until the next business day.

Payments Canada is introducing a new real-time payments system that will allow funds to move between a sender and receiver account in real-time, 24/7/365.

The new system will enable fast, convenient payments and act as a platform for innovation, allowing ecosystem players, such as financial institutions and payment service providers to be able to leverage the RTR to deliver faster, data-rich payments and new services to businesses and individuals.

Request to Pay is an example of a feature that will be built into the RTR. The feature is expected to go live after the RTR launch. It will be a key driver for innovation as it will introduce a new, flexible way to manage and settle bill payments between businesses and individuals.