Frequently Asked Questions

What is CertPay?

CertPAY is a Certificate in Principles of Payments that enables professionals working in the global payments industry to attain an internationally recognised qualification. It will provide students with a comprehensive understanding of payments, from terminology to the mechanics of moving money across the globe, as well as compliance, risk, regulation, and strategy.

What does Level 3 Certificate in Payments mean? Do I need to have a Level 1 and Level 2 certificates as pre-requisite?

The level allocated to a qualification indicates the difficulty, CertPAY has been designated as a level 3 by Ofqual who are the independent qualifications regulator for England.  There is no pre-requisite for taking CertPAY and a qualification isn’t available at lower levels.

I work for a smaller financial institution with no international banking department. Is this Certification still applicable to me?

CertPAY is relevant to anyone working in the payment industry regardless of the size and complexity of the organization.  The course covers payments from both a domestic and international scope.

Is a CertPay credential recognized in the payments industry?

CertPAY is a brand new qualification launched in March 2017, and we believe this is the first professional certification in this subject.  The qualification has been endorsed by the SWIFT Institute and has support from various global banks and trade bodies.

What payment topics are included or covered as part of this certification?

The qualification covers the following topic areas:

  • Purpose and structure of the payments industry.
  • Types, parties to and definitions of the component parts of the payments industry.
  • Economic value and systemic importance of payments.
  • Operations and functions, including customer service, technology and risk assessment.
  • The legal, regulatory and compliance framework.


Who is best to take this CertPay Certification?

CertPAY is relevant to anyone working in the payment industry including but not limited to the following

  • Operational staff working in the Payments sector, who need to understand the inherent risks of their role.
  • Staff working within specialist areas of payments such as ‘high value’ who wish to expand their knowledge and learn about the wider infrastructure, other payment types and the industry in general.

    Do I need to take pre-requisite courses before I take the exam?

    There are no pre-requisite courses that you must attend before taking the exam, the study materials are all available online once you have registered for the qualification and on completion of these students can sit the exam.

    Are there any study guides to pass the exam?

    A study plan is available as part of the online learning resources.

    When are the exam dates?

    The exam date can be booked at a student’s convenience and is sat electronically at any one of the Pearson VUE test centres worldwide (availability is on a first come first served basis).  The exam date must be within 12 months of registering for the qualification.  Students must be booked to sit an examination at a centre of their choice and we recommend booking an exam 3 weeks in advance of the date you wish to sit.

    Is there a registration deadline?

    Students can register for CertPAY at any time and online access to study texts is available immediately after registration has been completed. 

    How far in advance should I register prior to my exam date?

    Students can decide when to register for the exam based on the length of time they believe they will need to cover the learning materials.  We estimate that the course will take 200 hours of study time and we recommend this be completed over 26 weeks for a student who is new to the subject of payments.  For those wishing to study CertPAY that have experience in the payments industry then the study time required is likely to be less but this will be dependent on the individual student.

    How do I register to take the exam?

    Registration is available online or via the phone.

    How is the exam structured?

    CertPAY has 2 units and both are mandatory and assessed by way of a single, two part, examination.  The first unit has 35 stand-alone multiple-choice questions (total marks 35); and the second unit has 25 stand-alone multiple-choice questions and 2 case studies each with 5 associated questions (total marks 35).  For the multiple-choice assessment for Unit 1 and Unit 2, each item will require students to choose the correct answer from a choice of four possible answers.

    If I need to change my exam date, how do I change or cancel my registration?

    If students are unable to attend a booked electronic examination, they would need to contact Pearson VUE as soon as possible to cancel or reschedule their exam, allowing a minimum of one full clear business days’ notice prior to the examination. For example, the deadline to cancel or reschedule an electronic examination due to take place on a Tuesday would be the Friday before.

    If students decide that a qualification is not appropriate to their needs, they may cancel their registration within 14 days of the course start date.  However, if an exam date has already been booked then no refund will be given. After the period of 14 days, all fees are non-refundable and non-transferable.

    Are there continuing credits I need to fulfill on a yearly basis?

    There is no requirement to obtain continuing credits on an annual basis once a student has passed the CertPAY examination.


    Recognition of prior learning

    The London Institute of Banking & Finance are very happy to accommodate prior learning in line with the requirements of Ofqual's Conditions of Recognition.  Their recognition of prior learning (RPL) policy sets out the eligibility requirements and process for recognition: RPL policy

    In summary, to be eligible for RPL, students must have achieved certificated or accredited learning which normally has at least an 80% match to a current unit of the qualification.   This is accepted from academic or professional qualifications; accredited / approved training programmes or through experiential learning.