Payments Canada appoints Wealthsimple’s chief compliance officer to member advisory council

Hanna Zaidi
The appointment marks the only FinTech startup rep on the council.

Payments Canada has appointed Wealthsimple’s chief compliance officer of payments, Hanna Zaidi, to its member advisory council (MAC).

Zaidi’s appointment marks the only representation from a Canadian FinTech company in Payments Canada’s current MAC roster.

Appointed alongside Zaidi were Citi Canada Treasury and Trade Solutions country head John Landry, as well as Laurentian Bank of Canada’s senior vice president of digital banking Adam Swinemar.

Derek Vernon, vice president and head of enterprise payments modernization at BMO Financial Group, was appointed as the incoming chair of the council, replacing Christine Hunter who held the role for four years.

The MAC is a 20-person council that provides advice to Payments Canada’s board of directors on Canada’s clearing and settlement systems, as well as the development of new technologies. Its members are appointed by Payments Canada’s board of directors.

Payments Canada underpins the Canadian financial system, owning and operating the country’s clearing and settlement infrastructure that includes associated systems, by-laws, rules, and standards.

In September, Payments Canada replaced its 20-year-old electronic wire system for payment transfers with a new solution called Lynx, which was part of its modernization project that began in 2015.

RELATED: Payments Canada launches real-time payment transfer system

Lynx lets financial institutions and their customers send large payments securely. Meanwhile, Payments Canada’s retail batch payment system is where the majority of day-to-day commerce is cleared by Canadian financial institutions.

According to Payments Canada, the value of the payments it cleared in 2020 was approximately $107 trillion or $420 billion every business day. This cumulative amount comprises a wide range of payments made by consumers and businesses including transactions made through debit cards, pre-authorized debits, deposits, bill payments, wire payments, and cheques.

In a Tweet, Zaidi said that she plans to make payments great again, highlighting that Wealthsimple is also the first FinTech company ever to be part of the MAC.

Zaidi was promoted to her role as chief compliance officer of Wealthsimple in November. She joined Wealthsimple in 2019 as director of regulatory R&D for crypto and cash.

In recent years, she was also a board member at Open Banking Initiative Canada where she co-led the FinTech working group until her departure in May this year.

Previously, Zaidi worked at RBC’s Investor & Treasury Services for three years, leaving the bank in 2019 as associate director of regulatory strategy.

Featured image from Hanna Zaidi’s LinkedIn page.

Charlize Alcaraz

Charlize Alcaraz

Charlize Alcaraz is a journalism student at Ryerson University and a staff writer for BetaKit. Follow her on Twitter @charlizealcaraz

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