The Real-Time Rail

payment system

Canada’s first national real-time payment system — will support faster, data-rich payments and act as a platform for payment innovation and competition.

The Real-Time Rail (RTR) will allow Canadians to initiate and receive payments within seconds, anytime of the day or night, 365 days per year. RTR payments will be irrevocable, meaning they are final and cannot be undone.

Underpinned by robust rules in line with Payments Canada’s public-purpose mandate, the RTR will level the playing field. The access model supports existing member financial institutions and, once legislative support is in place, non-bank payment service providers.

The new system will be operated by Payments Canada and overseen by the Bank of Canada. All participants will meet strict requirements from the Bank of Canada and Payments Canada to ensure the system meets the risk-management standards for designated financial market infrastructures, which the RTR will be at launch.

RTR Participants will be able to leverage the functionality of the RTR to enhance existing payment products, and to develop new payment products and services. As well, the RTR Exchange is designed to enable the introduction of future system features and functionality. For example, Request to Pay will support a business owner or individual being able to send an electronic request for a payment.

Features of the RTR

  • FAST: Payment message exchange and transaction processing, including settlement, completed within 60 seconds.
  • EASY: 24/7/365 real-time payment status notifications, providing transparency and certainty for end-users.
  • SECURE: Accessible to direct participants that meet strict requirements.
  • FINAL: Funds are irrevocable and will provide finality of payment for the Payor and Payee.
  • ACCOUNT NUMBER-BASED ROUTING: Payment messages will route using account numbers to support a wide range of payment needs.
  • UBIQUITOUS REACH: Widespread payment initiation and receipt, with the ability to reach nearly every deposit account in Canada.
  • RISK-BASED ACCESS: All Payments Canada members will be eligible to participate  provided they meet the risk-based access criteria.
  • RISK MANAGEMENT: Safety and soundness ensured by the Bank of Canada’s Prominent Payment System risk management.

The RTR will go-live with the ISO 20022 financial messaging standard, and support more information travelling with every payment. This data will lead to faster reconciliation of the payment.

The RTR will enable Canada to better compete nationally and internationally with faster payment options, and will act as a platform for innovation, enabling the introduction of new and enhanced payment products and experiences. Participants in the payment system will be able to connect and develop new ways for Canadians — from consumers, businesses and governments — to pay for goods and services, transfer money and more, faster, easier and securely.




Governments Businesses Financial institutions Consumers



Developer portal

Preview the RTR's capabilities with our new Sandbox Real-Time Rail APIs. 

Get the facts

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