The trade association of the Canadian banking industry is proposing a voluntary set of guidelines for mobile payments in an effort to move the Canadian market closer to allowing mobile payments.

The Canadian Bankers Association Monday announced a set of voluntary guidelines for the development of mobile payments for the point-of-sale, which it says will serve as a blueprint for how mobile payment capabilities can be offered in the Canadian market. This would allow customers to make payments to merchants directly from a mobile device.

The guidelines, which were developed jointly by the big six banks, Credit Union Central of Canada and Desjardins Financial Group, cover how information is exchanged among various parties to a transaction including financial institutions, payment card companies, telecommunications companies and merchants.

The CBA says that while the guidelines are voluntary, the financial institutions that developed them “are committed to these principles in the mobile market”, and it says that the guidelines “are intended to create a path to help all market participants move forward in developing mobile payment solutions.”

“The guidelines are designed to provide clarity to the marketplace as various participants consider how they will meet the growing demand for mobile payments in Canada,” it says, adding that the guidelines were developed in response to the federal government’s Task Force for the Payments System Review in 2011.

The guidelines can be found on the CBA’s website.