Consumer-friendly electronic payments
Consumers Council of Canada works to represent Canadian consumers, concerning electronic payments and electronic funds transfer, a rapidly changing area of service to consumers. The Council actively represents consumers at Payments Canada, which operates Canada’s payments system, and on the Payments System Review Task Force, established by the federal Department of Finance.
The Council has developed a joint statement of principles along with other consumer groups to help guide its representation of consumers:
Principles for a reform
- universality: the broadest range of payment technologies should be regulated;
- neutrality: all technologies should be regulated by similar rules;
- accountability: risk should be supported by the party which creates it;
- security: payment technologies should be secure;
- transparency: rules, roles and prices should be transparent to all parties;
- liberty: payors should be allowed to choose the payment technology they prefer;
- enforceability: all should be able to ensure the framework is effectively enforced.
Some larger issues
- Effectiveness of payments Consumers need to be able to make payments in ways aligned with modern practices and with fewer and simpler obligations.
- Choice of payment solutions Consumers need to be able to opt for the payment mechanism that they consider the most appropriate in terms of effectiveness and cost.
- Fund accessibility Consumers need to be able to access their funds in an expedited manner, and not to have their savings appropriated without warning by their financial institution.
- Risk allocation Consumers need to be able to trust payment mechanisms and providers and they must not shoulder risk that they do not generate. Consumers should be made aware of risks specific to various payment methods.
- Risk mitigation and recourse Consumers need to be able to obtain effective redress when payments are mishandled or payment facilities are abused.