Guidelines for mobile payments announced in Canada

As Canadians continue to adopt mobile technology and as demand for mobile payments capability continues to grow, the banking industry and credit union system on Monday announced a set of voluntary, secure, open guidelines for the development of mobile payments at point-of-sale terminals in Canada.



As Canadians continue to adopt mobile technology and as demand for mobile payments capability continues to grow, the banking industry and credit union system on Monday announced a set of voluntary, secure, open guidelines for the development of mobile payments at point-of-sale terminals in Canada.


The voluntary guidelines, known as the Mobile Reference Model, will serve as a blueprint for how mobile payment capabilities can be offered in the Canadian market, including guidelines around how information is exchanged among various parties to a transaction including financial institutions, payment card companies, telecommunications companies and merchants, according to the Canadian Bankers Association.  While voluntary, the guidelines are intended to create a path to help all market participants move forward in developing mobile payment solutions.


By developing a set of guidelines that all participants in the payments marketplace can work within, the goal is to ensure safety and security for merchants and consumers while allowing for innovation and competition among market participants, says the Association.


These guidelines were developed as an outcome of the federal government’s Task Force for the Payments System Review in 2011, and provide definition for a fair, transparent, and competitive Canadian market for emerging payment options with mobile devices. The guidelines were developed by major Canadian banks and credit union groups.


Specifically the guidelines will benefit the market by provide a common framework for how mobile payments capabilities can work with existing payments systems such as contactless readers, which are already widely installed across Canada. A common foundation for mobile payments allows all market participants to benefit from the work done so far and to focus on delivering unique competitive offers to consumers.


The guidelines are designed to work with existing, secure contactless payment technology already in place today. This benefits merchants and consumers by building on an existing system, and leveraging the same security standards used by today’s chip-enabled credit and debit cards, says the Association.


The mobile payment guidelines have been developed to be in full compliance with Canadian regulations and will respect the Code of Conduct for the Credit and Debit Card Industry in Canada.