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Paytechs of Canada welcomes EQ Bank as its newest member

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“EQ Bank is excited to be joining Paytechs of Canada,” said Kartik Kamat, senior director of digital banking strategy and payments. “In coming together with other Canadian banks, fintechs and paytechs through this organization, we can collectively advocate for positive change in the payments ecosystem.”

Is the fintech policy agenda overrated or underrated? It depends on who’s asking

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By some measures, the fintech policy agenda is overrated. It’s stuck in the late 2000s, for example, still struggling to modernize payment systems and data-sharing in the financial sector. Though Canada must finish the job, the risk is that by the time we do we’ll have another set of problems we haven’t even begun to deeply think about.

What the federal election means for the fintech agenda

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In 2009, Paul Wells wrote that “Canadian politics will tend toward the least exciting possible outcome.” If change is exciting, then the lack thereof is boring. And the upshot of election 2021 is more of the same. The same goes for what election 2021 means for the fintech agenda. If Wells’ rule applies to the fintech policy agenda as well as it does to election 2021, then fintechs aren’t going to have it easy. Maybe fintech advocates should take a page from Wells’ book and make their agenda a little more boring, rather than exciting.

OnlyFans: the intersection of power, porn, and payments

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People don’t like to talk about payments legislation, but they do like to talk about power. Which is odd because payments legislation governs the movement of money, and control over the movement of money is a form of great power. Maybe the OnlyFans saga will finally open our eyes to the naked truth: that power over payments is power over everything.

Reflections on Canada’s open banking report

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The fanfare that followed the release of the open banking report is, in all its zeal, premature. The report just describes what Canada needs to do to implement open banking. If the open banking report were a starting gun, then Canada would still be at the starting line. Tough practical and political choices will need to be made. The cynic in me suspects that these trade-offs will be made behind closed doors, as push comes to shove in the negotiations between banks and the government. Whether they’ll be made to open banking’s favour or detriment is to be determined. 

Is Canada’s financial sector the product of “deregulatory capture”?

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It’s hard to say with certainty whether Canada’s banking lobby opposes progress on open banking and payments modernization. But they’re saying all the things I’d say if I wanted to stymie such progress. If Canada’s financial sector is the product of “deregulatory capture,” then what? There’s a long list of ideas to deal with it, but none are ideal.

The open banking report and “tsar”: possible reasons for delay

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We’ve been waiting for the advisory committee’s open banking report, as well as the appointment of an open banking “tsar,” for a long time. Everyone has been saying “any day now” for the past few months. So why the hold up?

Competition and innovation won’t support themselves

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If you frequent the payments ecosystem’s hallways, you’ve already heard the chatter: there is a concern that the Bank of Canada will regulate fintechs like they oversee Payments Canada’s clearing and settlement systems and Interac’s e-Transfer service — out of public sight, out of public mind, and inclined to be more attuned to what could go wrong than to what could go right.

Open banking could make big banks even bigger

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If open banking is a huge success, triggering a Cambrian explosion of financial-services apps, that very success may undermine itself. Apps need app stores. And app stores are fertile ground for anti-competitive outcomes.

In our brave new world, not all use cases are good

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Dive into a conversation about open banking and you’ll hear about the use cases. But not all use cases are created equal. One fintech’s recent blip of Twitter controversy shows why.