By: Doug Kreviazuk, Executive Director, Fintechs Canada
Fintechs Canada Members: As you are most likely aware, after seventeen months, I have decided to step away from the role of Executive Director of Fintechs Canada effective January 31, 2021 and gradually move toward retirement.
It is hard to believe that 17 months have passed since I first accepted this temporary role. But despite some of the environmental setbacks, largely due to Covid-19, the understanding of policymakers to the value proposition associated with paytech firms and their importance to Canada’s financial services market, has been greatly enhanced. Over this period, there has been an awakening of the value that paytechs can bring to a national economy, demonstrated and increasingly being reinforced by the actions being undertaken in many other parts of the world to embrace paytechs as equal partners in the payments system. While Canada may be slower by comparison, I believe that we are now teetering on the cusp of real and positive change for our industry.
To lead this change at the association, I’m excited to announce that I will be succeeded by a very energetic and very able public policy and payments professional, Alex Vronces. Like me, Alex comes to the Association from Payments Canada, where he provided leadership and strategic advice on the organization’s most important public policy work including access to the payments system, open banking and RPOF. He shares many of my views about this industry and a passion to affect change and create enhanced opportunities in the provision of payments. Over the next six months, I will continue to offer my insights and experience to the association’s new Executive Director in a part-time capacity to ensure a smooth transition. I am truly excited to work with Alex.
During my tenure at Payments Canada and through my transition into the PayTech association, I have been an ardent supporter of change in the payments industry; to bring about a more open and competitive marketplace. The dominance of the incumbent banks and the outdated regulatory framework for the payments system have created far too many insurmountable hurdles that serve only to impede the success for emerging paytech companies. As evidenced across the globe, PayTech and FinTech firms are now being embraced into the mainstream payments ecosystem and regulatory framework for the benefit of all who rely on the payments system each and every day; now is Canada’s turn.
The needed changes are coming, and although we may become impatient as the legal and payments-policy discussions unfold, these anticipated changes will bring about many emerging market opportunities. Ideally, we will see a financial services market that places a greater level of importance and reliance on market forces to drive down pricing, and enhance the product/service options for consumers and businesses alike, and for policy-makers to introduce the right market incentives to drive innovation for the benefit of all users.
Fintechs Canada is a community of common interests and collectively can affect these needed changes. I encourage you to lend your voice and to support your association and Alex as you continue to drive the industry forward.
I wish to extend my sincerest appreciation to all members for their contribution and supporting me in launching the Fintechs Canada Association. I wish you all the very best and only success in your future endeavours.