Payment Certification: A Network Perspective

Steve Gilde June 17, 2022

Certification is an important subject for any card brand, network or processor. It is an important way to ensure that network members or users are able to correctly format, send and receive messages to and from the network. Not surprisingly, the faster a payment network is able to onboard and certify new clients and members, the quicker it is able to start bringing in new revenue and boosting the profitability of the  organization.

The problem is, many of the organizations responsible for certification and client onboarding are using antiquated and inefficient tools and processes. 

According to Procensol, a global leader in process-centric solutions: “There is a clear disconnect between the objectives of certification and client onboarding and what organizations, users and clients experience in practice, and a lot of this is due to the underlying technology.

“Without a centralized system to onboard new clients, organizations are faced with a long list of potential inefficiencies; siloed data and processes, low quality data, siloed departments and users, operational challenges and lack of visibility being only the tip of the iceberg.”

The article suggests that the future for business in this position are “lost opportunities, steadily increasing costs, decreasing conversion, deferred revenues and a reduced ability to compete in the marketplace with their more tech and data-savvy competitors.”

Certification is one of those processes seriously holding back the speed and accuracy in which networks can onboard new clients and bring new products and services to market. So, what can be done?

Before we take a look at the solution, let’s first take a look at some of the major challenges around certification for the payment networks and why seamless onboarding is so important.

The importance of seamless onboarding 

The first few months of working with a new member or customer are crucial. This period of time shapes the perception that they have of your brand, and that’s something that’s almost impossible to shake.

When a client has a bad first experience with a brand or with a product, it has a significant and negative impact on the relationship and the possibility of repeat business. 

The growth of any organization depends on the introduction and adoption of new products and services that drive profitable revenue. Success in the marketplace depends heavily on the first impression that’s formed during the initial onboarding and certification experience.

When done correctly, onboarding can:

  • Significantly reduce certification and onboarding time frames.
  • Lower customer acquisition costs
  • Drive new revenues
  • Improve customer retention levels

Unfortunately, many payment networks are suffering from poor onboarding experiences, and it’s largely down to ineffective payment certification processes that are simply not at the level to meet modern day requirements.  

Where payment certification is going wrong 

Unfortunately, too many networks and payment processors still rely on manual processes to onboard new clients, certify members, re-certify existing members, and ensure the new products and services are in line with current certifications. 

Manually certifying and onboarding clients requires a significant commitment in skilled resources to develop, distribute (Excel spreadsheets?!) data, as well as scheduling and monitoring the testing process, as well as physically tracking each members’ certification project.

Manual testing means hours on the phone answering the same questions from members over and over again, potentially causing inaccurate results and compromising your ability to complete all necessary testing and keep up with market competitors. 

This time could be better spent on more strategic initiatives or valuable revenue generating projects.

So, what’s the solution?

Networks are able to significantly improve their certification testing processes when they leverage new technology that enables the centralized management of data and automated testing. 

Paragon’s Web FASTest solution can be used by payment brands, networks or processors to offer members, merchants, issuers, or acquirers 24x7 unattended certification testing capabilities from any location. By utilizing a self-certification platform that automates testing, organizations can dramatically reduce project timeframes and build a seamless onboarding experience for new members.

The result?

  • Faster certification times
  • A much better customer experience
  • Improved certification testing quality
  • Enhanced project management and reporting capabilities
  • Reduced costs
  • Increased opportunities to generate new revenue, improving your competitive position in the marketplace. 

Interested in learning more? Request a consultation today and learn how Paragon Application Systems can help your organization better achieve its certification testing goals.

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