Tracey Black to step down as president, CEO of Payments Canada

Payments Canada is responsible for implementing the long-awaited Real-Time Rail.

Tracey Black will soon step down from her role as president and CEO of Payments Canada.

Payments Canada announced Black has chosen not to renew her term in the position in a statement Wednesday. Black will conclude her leadership term at the end of March, and the organization’s board of directors has appointed CFO Kristina Logue and chief delivery officer Jude Pinto as interim co-CEOs effective April 1.

“Over the last five years, Black has led a series of major payment modernization initiatives, serving Canadians with secure, efficient, and resilient payment systems, and laying the foundation for continued innovation,” Payments Canada said in the statement. “The Payments Canada board of directors and Black feel it is an opportune moment to seek her successor in advance of the next phase of payment modernization.”

Black said the organization has achieved “major progress in advancing innovations that serve Canadian consumers and businesses.”

“Payments Canada is a small organization that walks shoulder-to-shoulder with many of the largest companies in Canada,” Black said in a LinkedIn post. “I’m immensely proud of how Payments Canada has evolved as an organization and what we’ve achieved in the continued modernization of our nation’s payment systems.”

It’s unclear why Black, who has worked at Payments Canada since November 2018, has chosen not to renew her term. She initially served as the non-profit’s executive director of modernization, before becoming president and CEO in 2020. She oversaw the implementation of the Lynx system for large-value, time-sensitive payments, as well as Payments Canada’s efforts to modernize the country’s payments system.

Part of that payments modernization effort includes implementing the long-awaited Real-Time Rail (RTR) system, which will allow for payments to be sent and received within seconds. 

Payments Canada initially promised to deliver the RTR in 2019, but the implementation has been fraught with delays. The launch was pushed to 2022, then later to mid-2023, and in June 2023, the launch was delayed once more.

RELATED: Federal Fall Economic Statement promises to expand Payments Canada eligibility, introduce open banking legislation in 2024

In October, Payments Canada provided a quarterly update noting it had completed a “targeted risk review” of the RTR system adding the next phase of the program will determine the path to launching the RTR. In December, the organziation released another update, emphasizing that it remained “fully committed” to delivering the RTR, but noted that “this takes time.”

“I recognize that with shifting timelines there have been implications due to the delays to the payment ecosystem,” Black said in the December statement.

Canada’s FinTech sector has vented frustration over the constant delays with both the RTR implementation and the Canadian rollout of open banking, the latter being under the federal government’s jurisdiction. In 2022, Fintechs Canada executive director Alex Vronces described the launch of RTR and the national rollout of open banking to BetaKit as “disastrous” for the Canadian FinTech sector.

In its fall economic statement, the federal government announced plans to amend the Canadian Payments Act to expand membership eligibility for Payments Canada to firms other than big banks. The government also promised to introduce open banking legislation in its 2024 budget.

Logue will be responsible for Payment Canada’s day-to-day functions in addition to her CFO duties, while Pinto will continue to lead large-scale delivery programs in the next phase of the RTR implementation.

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle is a Vancouver-based writer with 5+ years of experience in communications and journalism and a lifelong passion for telling stories. For over two years, she has reported on all sides of the Canadian startup ecosystem, from landmark venture deals to public policy, telling the stories of the founders putting Canadian tech on the map.

0 replies on “Tracey Black to step down as president, CEO of Payments Canada”