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Canadian Fintech Embraces Real-Time Payments, Challenger Banking

Canadian Fintech Embraces Real-Time Payments, Challenger Banking

As our recent conversation featuring Boss Insights founder and CEO Keren Moynihan, reminds us, the fintechs (and “TechFins”) of the Great White North are engaged in some of the most forward-looking innovation on the continent.

This week brings an above average volume of news from Canada’s ambitious real-time payments industry. For one, the Vancouver Bullion & Currency Exchange (VBCE) announced a partnership with EMQ to bring “near real-time” cross-border payments to businesses and consumers across Canada. A PSP as well as a foreign currency exchange, VBCE hopes that its partnership with the global financial settlement network will give its customers the ability to move money faster and more efficiently. The firm also anticipates being able to use EMQ’s network to bring new services to market and scale existing ones.

“The speed and reach of EMQ’s global network allows us to pilot new services in one market and scale them rapidly across others to meet the evolving customer needs,” VBCE VP of Business Development Kevin Ma said. “This is especially important for our business with a diverse product portfolio.”

Elsewhere on the Canadian real-time payments beat, Payments Canada announced a collaboration with debit network Interac to support real-time payments in the country. Interac will serve as the exchange solution provider for Real-Time Rail, the real-time payments systems operated by Payments Canada and regulated by the Bank of Canada. RTR, scheduled to go live in 2022, will enable Canadians to initiate payments and receive funds in seconds.

Payments Canada President and CEO Tracey Black said that RTR will be the “foundation for faster, data-rich payments” and will serve as a “platform for innovation.” Black also praised Interac as a “well-suited partner” with the requisite infrastructure and connectivity to support “the rapid adoption of real-time payments in Canada.”

Last, some developments on the Canadian neobank front. Toronto, Ontario-based challenger bank KOHO added a no-fee savings account to its offerings this week. KOHO Save gives account holders 1.2% interest on their entire balance. There are no teaser rates and no minimum balance is required to acquire an account, which is available on the KOHO app.

“We’re excited to add KOHO Save to our product line as a simple and valuable money earning tool for Canadians,” KOHO CEO and founder Daniel Eberhard said. “We’ve been able to build a savings tool that doesn’t follow the same restrictions of most other savings products on the market. People just want to access their money freely and earn a great interest rate. We think Save is a wonderful step in that direction.”

KOHO also offers a savings and checking account and gives users a minimum of 0.5% (up to 10%) cash back on all purchases. KOHO Premium account holders get an additional 2% cash back on three major spending categories. The company, founded in 2014 and headquartered in Toronto, Ontario, has raised $57.5 million in funding from investors including Drive Capital and Portag3 Ventures.

Here is our look at fintech innovation around the world.

Central and Southern Asia

Latin America and the Caribbean


Sub-Saharan Africa

Central and Eastern Europe

Middle East and Northern Africa

Photo by Mian Rizwan from Pexels