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On Dialogue: Our Discussion Documents


Scenarios for the Future of the Canadian Payments System

Four months into our Mandate, with preliminary research underway and emergent principles in-hand, the next phase of our work began in earnest; bringing stakeholders to the table as never before to start revealing a collective future.

Between September and February, a group of leaders including users, new entrants and incumbents, met to develop four plausible but distinct scenarios for the future of the Canadian payments system. Scenarios were framed by two critical uncertainties that would shape the future of the Canadian payments system: 1) The degree of alignment of the payments ecosystem (aligned, or fragmented) and; 2) the extent of user adoption (rapid, or moderate).

Scenarios for the Future of the Canadian Payments System, and the process undertaken to prepare it, had a number of benefits. First, the four scenarios provide a vision of both desirable and undesirable futures, including the dangers of inaction.

Second, participants came to see their roles in the context of a redefined and more inclusive payments industry. It is based on this success that the Task Force feels confident our vision of a collaborative and inclusive payments reality can be achieved.

This exercise broadened our perspectives, showed us first hand the advantages of collaboration, and inspired us to continue the dialogue beyond the Roundtable. We realized that this emergent coalition of industry participants and users represented a vast untapped knowledge resource whose ideas and input would strengthen our recommendations. Working Groups were struck covering a diversity of issues, and the collaborative spirit that carried us through the Scenarios Roundtable was harnessed once more.