Payments Canada has launched the first release of its high-value payment system, Lynx, as a replacement for the Large Value Transfer System (LVTS).

The new solution has been designated as a ‘systemically important payment system’ by the Bank of Canada under the payment Clearing and Settlement Act, and will process large value, time critical payments with real-time settlement finality. 

Payments Canada will own and operate Lynx, whilst the Bank of Canada will oversee the new system, which replaces the LVTS after 20 years of use.

Additionally, the Bank of Canada aims to provide enhanced cybersecurity and resiliency via Lynx, which it maintains has been designed ‘with flexibility’ in order to support future technologies such as APIs and interfaces.

“The payments ecosystem is rapidly evolving. Our role at Payments Canada is to support the innovation of payments infrastructure and rules to make payments easier, smarter, and safer for all Canadians,” said Tracey Black, President and CEO at Payments Canada. 

“Lynx is an integral part of our broader payments Modernization initiative to deliver the future of payments for Canada. The launch of Lynx represents a significant collaborative effort between Payments Canada, our member participants, our technology partners IBM and SIA, and the Bank of Canada”.

Lynx will be used to send and receive high-value payments from a number of banking participants and their customers, including the aforementioned Bank of Canada as well as a number of other financial institutions.

These will include the Bank of America, Bank of Montreal (BMO), Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS), BNP Paribas,(Canada), Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC),, Fédération des caisses Desjardins du Québec (FCDQ), HSBC Bank Canada, the National Bank of Canada (NBC/BNC) and the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), among others.

Payments Canada will release a second update later this year to announce the ISO 20022 message standard, allowing for data-rich payments to support the introduction of new products and services and digitise manual and paper-based processes relating to invoicing and payment reconciliation.

Tiff Macklem, Bank of Canada Governor, added: “Canada’s economic and financial welfare depends critically on payment systems that operate behind the scenes. It’s essential that Canada has a modern and robust wholesale payments system, and so, after much preparation, I’m very pleased to see the arrival of Lynx. 

“The launch of Lynx is an important step in making sure Canada’s financial system remains secure, stable and efficient in today’s rapidly evolving economy.”