June 17, 2016 / 5:17 PM / in a year

Bank of Canada wants upgrades to core payment systems

CALGARY (Reuters) - The Bank of Canada wants upgrades made to the core payments systems used in the country’s financial system in order to make them more efficient and competitive, a top central bank official said on Friday.

The Bank of Canada building is pictured in Ottawa March 3, 2009. REUTERS/Chris Wattie

Senior Deputy Governor Carolyn Wilkins said new technologies in financial services had the potential to transform the financial system but stressed institutions and policymakers must work together to guard against potential risks.

For the time being, the bank’s priority is to see improvements made to the Large Value Transfer System and Automated Clearing Settlement System that the bank oversees, she said. The systems are operated by Payments Canada, the organization Wilkins addressed in Calgary.

“These systems have served us well, but both require investments that are needed to fully meet our oversight requirements,” she said in a prepared text of the speech.

Richer data on transactions in both systems needs to be collected and ideally make the two interoperable, Wilkins said.

Wilkins did not discuss monetary policy in her speech. The Bank of Canada is widely expected to hold rates at 0.50 percent when it meets next month. BOCWATCH

The central bank confirmed earlier this week that it is experimenting with a payments system based on the technology behind the bitcoin virtual currency.

Writing by Leah Schnurr and David Ljunggren; Editing by Bernard Orr

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