Frequently Asked Questions

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1. How is the Canadian payment industry governed?

The Canadian regulatory environment is composed of different elements. There is legislation at the federal and provincial levels governing the mandates and responsibilities of financial institutions. There are also a number of parties that regularly monitor Canadian financial institutions (e.g. Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions [OSFI] and the Bank of Canada). The Bank of Canada facilitates and effects the final settlement of balances for the national clearing and settlement system and acts as the agent of the federal government by clearing government receipts and disbursements.

2. What is the Canadian Payments Association (CPA)?

The CPA is a non-profit association created by an act of the Canadian Parliament in 1980 to establish and operate a national clearing and settlement system and to plan the evolution of the national payments system.

The CPA's mandate, as amended through the Canadian Payments Act in 2001, is to:

  1. Establish and operate national systems for the clearing and settlement of payments and other arrangements for the making or exchange of payments
  2. Facilitate the interaction of its clearing and settlement systems and related arrangements with other systems or arrangements involved in the exchange, clearing or settlement of payments
  3. Facilitate the development of new payment methods and technologies*

CPA members include the Bank of Canada, banks and non-bank financial institutions. These members accept deposits or payments drawn on customers of other institutions. Direct clearers such as CIBC receive settlement for these items through an account at the Bank of Canada. For further information, please visit the CPA website.

* Source:

3. What is the Large Value Transfer System (LVTS)?

The Large Value Transfer System (LVTS) is an electronic wire system introduced by the Canadian Payments Association (CPA) in February 1999 to facilitate the transfer of irrevocable payments in Canadian dollars across the country in real time. Through LVTS, funds can be transferred between participating financial institutions virtually instantaneously, and the money can thus be credited to the recipient's account on a timely basis.

LVTS is the first model of its kind in the world, a hybrid that combines the benefits of the 2 main models for current payment systems. It achieves the real-time payment finality of the Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) system, with the added benefit of lower collateral costs associated with a netting system.

4. What is the Automated Clearing and Settlement System (ACSS)?

The Automated Clearing and Settlement System (ACSS), introduced in 1984, is the system through which the vast majority of payment items in Canada - more than 17 million on an average business day - are cleared. The ACSS is used for clearing both paper-based payment items, such as cheques and electronic items, including Automated Funds Transfer debits (e.g. pre-authorized debits) and credits (e.g. direct deposits). Although 99% of the daily transaction volume is cleared through ACSS, these transactions represent only about 12% of the total value cleared, as most ACSS payment items are for relatively small amounts. Approximately 88% of the total value is cleared via the Large Value Transfer System (LVTS).

5. What is Continuous Linked Settlement (CLS**)?

CLS Group was founded in 1997 to create the first global settlement system, eliminating settlement risk in the foreign exchange market. The CLS service is offered by CLS Bank International (CLS Bank), and is supported by 69 of the world's largest banking and financial institutions. Together they account for a substantial majority of cross-currency transactions across the globe ***.

CIBC is a founding shareholder of CLS, dating back to our previous role as shareholder and founding member of Multinet. Since CLS' inception, CIBC has been 1 of 2 Canadian liquidity providers.

CIBC has offered Canadian CLS Nostro Agent Services since CLS' inception, having actively participated in the North American Working Group on the development of best practices for this service, and having developed the leading pricing model for this service in the collateral-intensive Canadian market. CIBC is a direct settlement member.

CIBC has been settling its own Foreign Exchange trades in CLS as a full settlement member since the autumn of 2006.

For more information on CLS, please visit the CLS website.

** CLS is a trademark of CLS Group Holdings (incorporated as CLS Services Ltd.)

6. What is INTRIA Items Inc. and why did CIBC choose INTRIA to be an extension of its existing processing capabilities?

INTRIA, a wholly-owned subsidiary of CIBC, is a Canadian leader in payment and information processing services. Processing more than 2 billion items each year, INTRIA serve a wide range of clients in the financial, utility, and retail sectors.

INTRIA offers transactional and informational processing services that span multiple industries.

Their service portfolio consists of:

  • Cheque clearing
  • Remittance processing
  • Document composition (print and mail)
  • ABM envelope and commercial deposit processing
  • Treasury management
  • ABM cash forecasting

For more information on INTRIA, please visit their website.

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