CPPO Symposium Recap — Riding The Rails To Innovation: Elevating Prepaid’s Platform Potential

The key theme of the 2022 symposium was how prepaid is the innovation rail in Canada’s digital payments and banking ecosystem. Prepaid continues to expand inclusive digital payment opportunities across a number of segments.

Everyone in financial services — from fintechs to established financial organizations — has invested in digital-first financial products that offer a prepaid product. Increasingly, prepaid fits into consumers’ lives and how they want to pay for goods and services. For instance, prepaid continues to innovate various industries, including: BNPL, earned wage access, on-demand delivery, B2B payments and niche banking and financial services.

Speakers highlighted how prepaid has become the intel inside innovative payments tools today — existing in the background as a platform powering innovative payments products and services. Panelists discussed how prepaid is an access vehicle for everyone to secure more financial services — and how the lines are blurring in terms of how businesses and consumers are defining and using prepaid in their everyday lives.

“If you want to do something new, innovative or groundbreaking in payments and fintech in Canada, prepaid is your answer. It’s nimble, flexible, quick to market and forging the partnerships between FIs and the entrepreneurs to bring better payments and financial services to all Canadians.” – Jennifer Tramontana, CPPO Executive Director.

Riding The Rails To Innovation: Elevating Prepaid’s Platform Potential
CPPO Executive Director Jennifer Tramontana leads a panel discussion.

The rapid growth of the Canadian open-loop prepaid market has cemented the case for prepaid being a nimble platform and the innovation rail of choice to bring new digital payments and banking solutions into market for the benefit of more Canadian consumers and businesses.

This first panel discussion at the 2022 CPPO Prepaid Symposium will explored how prepaid technology is setting the foundation for digital financial services partnerships that enable emerging fintechs and established financial institutions to bring new and innovative products and services to market faster than ever before. 


Moderator: Jennifer Tramontana – Executive Director, CPPO


  • Aaron Bright – Business Development Lead, Galileo Financial Technologies
  • Howard Klein – President of Payments and Card Services, Peoples Group
  • Elena Litani – Chief Product Officer, Pillar
  • Betsi Bowman – Vice President Digital Banking & Reloadable Products, Incomm
Speaker Soundbites:
Peoples Group’s Howard Klein (middle)

Howard Klein, President of Payments and Card Services, Peoples Group – “Prepaid is making it easier for fintechs to get into the space and bring new products to market.”

“Prepaid is a great vehicle to bring payments solutions to market — everyone from virtual to in wallet. The flexibility is there. There is an ecosystem that supports that…That card is a vital part that keeps a lot of the momentum of these innovations going. …You can create a financial product that is essentially a bank account on a prepaid rail.”



Elena LitaniChief Product Officer, Pillar – “The opportunity for innovation in the prepaid market is tremendous. Let’s use prepaid to solve more complex use cases like cross-border payments.”

“Prepaid is better and faster. It’s a bit boxed, but if you understand all the nuances about it you can build beautiful products with it.”

Pillar’s Elena Litani (left)


“Prepaid has two characteristics — purchase utility and accounts. That empowers all the use cases we’re seeing in the market….gig, budget solutions, instant solutions — many of the use cases around financial health and addressing gaps in financial inclusion. It’s one of the powerful elements of the foundation.”




Aaron Bright, Business Development Lead, Galileo Financial Technologies

Galileo Financial Technologies’ Aaron Bright (center)

– “Fintechs need to be targeting SMBs. We’re continuing to build the API stacks needed to add benefits that meet the needs of small business owners, such as managing registrations, filing taxes and integrating into ERP platforms.”

“The future of prepaid lies in identifying the niche consumer segments that are under serviced by larger banks. We can create prepaid products for those specific needs.”

” I think about it prepaid as a market of fintech in general. It’s continuously innovating and evolving. ”


InComm Payments’ Betsi B. Bowman (center)

Betsi B. Bowman, Vice President Digital Banking & Reloadable Products, InComm Payments – “Everyone can use prepaid.”

“If I was rebranding prepaid, I’d call it a payment tool. ….it highlights the product’s utility and versatility.”

“What the product is doesn’t matter. It’s the value that matters. ….Being able to move at the speed of the market is one challenge everyone faces.”


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