Mod Blog: A call for a global standard and certification for payment skills

By Justin Ferrabee, Chief Operating Officer, Payments Canada
 

We live in an increasingly connected world, and that is having a BIG impact on the way we pay. Cross-border payments, international standards and interoperability between systems and markets are emerging as some of the most prominent issues and challenges in the payments industry.

As more and more countries around the world modernize their payments systems, processes and rules, more experienced payments professionals with the necessary skills, knowledge and expertise are required to develop and maintain these systems. But, the current talent pool is small and regionally focused, and it is difficult to assess an individual’s payments knowledge prior to hiring. To meet the growing talent demands in our industry, we need more people, more expertise, and a broader, more global perspective.

Last fall, CEOs from payments infrastructures around the world were consulted on this topic. During the discussions, the idea for a global payments accreditation program was proposed as a solution to help address two key issues: the global talent shortage, and the lack of a standardized way to assess payments knowledge.

In obtaining and maintaining a global payments credential, payments professionals would benefit from a broader, more advanced – but also standardized and aligned – level of knowledge. This would allow organizations looking for talent to better judge a potential candidate’s level of expertise and suitability, as well as deepen the pool of candidates to draw from. And each of these accredited individuals would have an end-to-end understanding of the payments ecosystem – something that is not common in historically siloed industry.

The benefit this could bring to payments modernization initiatives around the world cannot be overstated.

Work is already underway: We are currently in the process of validating market interest in global accreditation by connecting with international payments professionals, financial institutions, associations, governments and key stakeholders. Most recently, NACHA supported market sounding at their annual conference by setting up meetings with key stakeholders and influencers. Feedback from all participants was overwhelmingly positive.

In addition to NACHA (United States), the global accreditation initiative has garnered the support and input of several global partners including: Australian Payments Network Limited (Australia), Dutch Payments Association (Netherlands) and PASA (South Africa). Through this international collaboration, the initiative is obtaining global buy-in, refining the themes and topics that would frame the Global Payments Knowledge Standard, and exploring options for the creation of the accreditation office.

In Canada, we have seen the demand for payments knowledge in action: Two weeks ago, the Rotman School of Management, in partnership with Payments Canada, launched ‘The Business of Payments” executive MBA course – an intensive program that gives business leaders specialized insight into the payments marketplace. The strong demand for the program – and positive feedback received throughout – furthers our resolve to support global payments accreditation for the benefit of our international counterparts and payments professionals on a global scale.

Share your thoughts on global accreditation and join the conversation May 14-16 at the 2019 Payments Canada SUMMIT in Toronto, where we will be exploring the future-state of payments in Canada and abroad: thesummit.ca