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Retail Payment Activities Act

May 8, 2024

The Retail Payment Activities Act (RPAA) represents a milestone in Canadian payments and is expected to build confidence in the retail payment sector and bring a new level of maturity to this ever-evolving industry. However, it will require payment service providers (PSPs) to comply with a suite of new obligations, including

  • registering with the Bank of Canada
  • establishing and maintaining a risk management and incident response framework
  • incident report notification
  • safeguarding of funds
  • reporting obligations

Stay up to date

To help PSPs prepare for the implementation of the RPAA and understand their obligations, Osler has assembled a team of leading experts to provide guidance on the RPAA and related regulatory developments. Our RPAA team includes partners Elizabeth Sale and Victoria Graham (payments), Michelle Lally (national security review), Adam Kardash (privacy), Simon Hodgett and Wendy Gross (contracting arrangements).

The RPAA will come into force in phases, starting on November 1, 2024, with the launch of the registration process. Subscribe to receive updates on recent developments or check back here often for additional information.

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May 21, 2024

Deadline for submitting feedback to Bank of Canada on the following draft guidance

  • operational risk and incident response
  • safeguarding end-user funds
  • significant change reporting
  • incident notification

November 1–15, 2024

15-day registration application window*

November 16, 2024 – September 7, 2025

Transition period

September 8, 2025

Effective date for operational risk and safeguarding of funds frameworks

* individuals and entities who do not submit an application during this window must submit a registration application at least 60 days before they plan to start performing retail payment activities


Prescribed supervisory information (Bank of Canada – April 17, 2024)

This supervisory policy provides an explanation of the prescribed supervisory information (PSI) provisions and sets out the Bank of Canada’s expectations for PSPs’ compliance with non-disclosure requirements related to PSI under the RPAA and its regulations. PSI must not be used as evidence in any civil proceedings, and cannot be disclosed by PSPs, in each case subject to certain exceptions. The supervisory policy provides examples of what is, and what is not, PSI, and explains the rationale for restricting the disclosure of PSI. The supervisory policy also explains the exceptions to the non-disclosure requirement and the evidentiary privilege restriction.

Final guidelines will be published during the second half of 2024.

Read the supervisory policy

Record keeping (Bank of Canada – April 17, 2024)

This supervisory policy outlines what records PSPs should keep and retain to comply with their record-keeping obligations under the RPAA and its regulations. The supervisory policy provides illustrative examples of some of the materials that PSPs should keep and retain as records in connection with their risk management and incident response framework, safeguarding of funds, incident notification, and reporting obligations. Typically, a record must be retained for at least five years after the day on which the record no longer demonstrates the PSP’s current compliance with the RPAA. The supervisory policy also outlines the Bank of Canada’s expectations on how records must be kept.

Read the supervisory policy

Bank of Canada opens consultation on draft supervisory guidelines — public consultation ends May 21, 2024

The Bank of Canada recently opened its public consultation on the draft supervisory guidelines covering the following topics: operational risk and incident response; incident notification; safeguarding end-user funds; and notice of significant change or new activity. In their current form, these guidelines are very detailed, building out the compliance obligations set out in the RPAA and its regulations in a manner that is likely to increase the compliance burden on PSPs.The Bank of Canada has specifically requested that respondents indicate whether any aspect of the draft guidelines could be clarified or challenging to implement. PSPs are strongly encouraged to review the draft guidelines and provide feedback by May 21, 2024. 

Final guidelines will be published during the second half of 2024.

Provide feedback on the consultation

Registration process:

How to complete a registration application: A step-by-step guide (Bank of Canada – March 2024)

PSPs must be registered with the Bank of Canada. A guide is available to help PSPs gather the documents needed to complete the application form during the initial 15-day registration phase.

Explore the step-by-step guide

Amendments to registration applications (Bank of Canada – February 14, 2024)

During the initial 10 month coming-into-force transition period, applicants are still required to submit amendments. However, they will not know their registration status until the RPAA comes fully into force. Guidance is provided on how applicants should proceed when making changes to the information they provide as part of their application to become a registered PSP.

Read the guidance

Reporting of retail payment activity metrics at registration (Bank of Canada – February 14, 2024)

PSPs are required to report on quantitative metrics of their retail payment activities—first at registration and then as part of annual reporting. A guide is available to help applicants understand the reporting requirements of Section 9 and 10 of the registration application.

Learn more about quantitative metrics reporting requirements

Criteria for registering payment service providers (Bank of Canada – December 12, 2023)

Guidance is provided to help individuals and entities determine if they’re subject to the RPAA and if they should register with the Bank. The guidance breaks down each of the payment functions and sets out a series of questions PSPs should ask themselves in order to determine whether they’re performing a payment function that triggers the registration requirement. The guidance also includes information about incidental activities.

Read the guidance to determine if you are subject to the RPAA

Registration application fee (Bank of Canada – December 12, 2023)

Details are provided about the one-time fee applicants must pay when submitting an application to register as a PSP with the Bank. As of November 1, 2024, the registration application fee is $2,500; in subsequent years, the fee will be determined in accordance with a formula as described in the guidance.

Find out more about registration application

2023 Fall Economic Statement: key developments for financial services providers

December 18, 2023

The 2023 Fall Economic Statement, tabled on November 21, 2023, specifically includes a statement that the Department of Finance is working to implement the national security review of PSPs. 

Read more about the measures expected to impact financial service providers operating in Canada

The future of payments regulation has arrived: final regulations to the Retail Payment Activities Act released

December 11, 2023

The final regulations were published on November 22, 2023. Although some minor changes were implemented, overall, the changes between the draft and the final regulations were minimal. 

Read more about the key changes to the final regulations

Retail Payment Activities Act: Draft regulations published for comment

March 2, 2023

On February 11, 2023, the Department of Finance published draft regulations under the RPAA. The draft regulations set out significant, prescriptive requirements that apply to all PSPs, regardless of their overall size and complexity.

Learn more about the key aspects of the draft regulations

Levelling Up: Payment services providers to be subject to Bank of Canada oversight under the new Retail Payments Activities Act

May 10, 2021

After many years of consultation and discussion, the federal government introduced the RPAA. The introduction of the RPAA represents a milestone in Canadian payments and is expected to build confidence in the retail payment sector and bring a new level of maturity to this ever-evolving industry.

Read more about the RPAA