Alissa Clayton, Anna Kragie, Alexa Stegeman and Jennifer Tramontana together in front of a CPPO Symposium 2024 banner.

CPPO Symposium ’24 Recap: Driving Payments Innovation in Canada 




On April 18th in Toronto, our client the Canadian Prepaid Providers Organization (CPPO) hosted its annual Symposium. Every Spring, The CPPO Symposium assembles decision-makers in payments, banking, fintech, cybersecurity and government to discuss the most impactful trends and showcase the latest solutions in Canadian payments and prepaid technology.  

The CPPO is led by The Fletcher Group president Jennifer Tramontana, with TFG’s Anna Kragie serving as the organization’s Board Secretary. Together with TFGers Alissa Liotti and Alexa Stegeman, our team puts on a premier thought leadership conference in Canadian payments year after year.  


Content-wise, the 2024 CPPO Symposium covered every corner of payments innovation — financial inclusion, open banking, AI, fraud and security, bank-fintech partnerships and fintech-SMB lending, just to name a few. Panelists and presenters also addressed these topics vis-a-vis Canada’s ever-changing regulatory environment.  

“The promise of payments innovation is to create more convenient, efficient, secure, and inclusive payment methods that enhance the overall financial experience.  And we are here to examine our progress from the lens of all stakeholders in the ecosystem – consumers, small business, merchants, banks,” Jennifer Tramontana, CPPO Executive Director Jennifer Tramontana said during her opening remarks.  


The day began with data-driven insights into the Canadian payments market from executives at large scale data aggregators Mastercard and H&R Block. 

The first panel explored how neo banks are picking up customers underserved by the “big 6” Canadian banks. The conversation was led by Rob Carrick, personal finance columnist for The Globe and Mail. Panelists included digital natives KOHO, Wealthsimple, EQ Bank and Neo Financial. 

Visa and RBC’s MyDoh examined how prepaid is being deployed around the world. This in-depth presentation revealed the global trends, opportunities and threats affecting prepaid right now.  And panelists learned all about MyDoh, a teen banking product, and why their team chose prepaid as the backbone of the offering. 

Up next was the much-anticipated regulatory panel.  For almost an hour, attendees were able to ask questions of the regulatory agencies and express their views about the need for changes to continue the goals of payments innovation. The CPPO brought together top government officials, including Annie Hardy, Director, Fintech Relations & Third-Party Disclosure from Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC), Nikil Chande, Senior Director, Registration & Enforcement, Retail Payment Supervision from the Bank of Canada and Kirsten Fraser, Director at Finance Canada to talk with Tracy Molino, counsel at Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP. 

The next panel tackled the ever-present issue of AI. This discussion focused on the implications of AI for payments and commerce innovation, including its potential to strengthen customer engagement and create more efficient business operations. Security and regulatory compliance were top of mind as the panelists reminded the audience that cyber risks are more than an IT risk; they’re a risk to the entire business. Panelists dove into hot topics, such as how to use predictive AI to proactively prevent fraud risks and touched on the benefits and drawbacks of generative AI. The panel featured experts from Mastercard, Giesecke+Devrient and eSentire.  

Each year, the CPPO conducts a market sizing study to better understand the open-loop prepaid market in Canada and predict where it is headed. In 2024, researchers from Datos Insights conducted the study and presented headline findings to the assembled leaders. 

Following the market snapshot, a passionate panel discussed how bank-fintech partnerships can innovate payment services in Canada as the open banking framework lags. Panelists from Peoples Group, Airwallex, EML and Vault also weighed in on which international markets might serve as blueprints for Canada’s payments modernization efforts. 

No modern payments event would be complete without some mention of retail payments and the customer journey. The Symposium tackled the issue head-on, with panelists from Onbe, Square, Sezzle and Collinson Group revealing how the customer journey is evolving as payments get embedded deeper into the customer shopping experience. The speakers debated how this trend is impacting the way brands interact with consumers and gain their loyalty. 

Finally, the insights portion of the event wrapped up with a look at how tried-and-true consumer experiences can be replicated in an SMB banking environment, benefitting both small businesses and financial service providers. Participants on this panel included heavy hitters from Visa, Notch, Loop Financial and Peoples Group. 

Throughout the day, attendees were able to visit the Innovation Lounge, powered by Giesecke+Devrient. The lounge featured product and service demos from a range of industry innovators like Mastercard, Peoples Group, Giesecke+Devrient, Digital Commerce Group, Onbe, EQ Bank, REV Prepaid and CDIC. 


We’re proud to have helped the Canadian Prepaid Providers Organization assemble, connect and educate Canadian open-loop prepaid stakeholders once again. While major developments in AI and regulatory frameworks are shaping the industry, 2024 has been a banner year for prepaid with growth into a $12B market. And the Symposium is a perfect reflection of the innovation, flexibility and energy driving the market.