Payment Certification: It’s Time for an Upgrade

Steve Gilde June 22, 2022

As we discussed in our previous blog in this series, certification is an important way for networks, and processors to ensure that their network clients and members are able to correctly format, send and receive messages to and from the network.

As important as the certification process is to the overall safety and security of the payment industry, many organizations are still using the same basic methods and mechanics that they developed back in the 1980’s and 90’s. These legacy processes are slow, error-prone and expensive for both the certifying organization and its clients. 

Imagine the frustration of a new client when they are asked to sort through financial messages and transactions provided via Excel spreadsheets or PDFs documents and then book time on the phone to speak with a certification analyst - a limited resource who may not be available for days or weeks. And then of course, there is the cost.

Are you ready to automate your certification testing? 

Stay tuned for new additional blogs, where we will dive into payment certification in more detail, firstly from the networks point of view, and then from the members’ point of view, and finally how these time-consuming and expensive processes can be improved. 

In the meantime, let's look at some of the major challenges associated with the traditional manual methods of payment certification. 

What are the primary issues with payment certification? 

  • For many the certification process is slow and manual 

Many organizations are still certifying clients without a centralized or automated certification system in place. Instead, they rely on paper documents, spreadsheets and PDFs to share date, status updates and reports.

The result is a slow and inefficient process, sometimes taking weeks or months to complete. 

The unfortunate consequence is that both sides in the certification exercise waste time and  resources, negatively impacting their bottom lines.

Overall, this process costs both the network and the customer a lot more money than it should.

  • It’s all about the data

The importance of current and accurate data associated with the certification process cannot be underestimated. After all, the whole purpose of certification is to ensure that network members can correctly and securely process the network’s required messages and transactions.   

Documents created and maintained manually almost guarantee that information will be  inaccurate, out of date, misinterpreted, or even lost during the certification process. 

Rather than having limited and valuable resources spend hours on the phone trying to sort out all of these data details, wouldn’t it be better to have a centralized and automated system in place to connect all of the certification stakeholders with the latest information in real time.

  • Every network has a unique set of rules

Given the complexity and effort involved in certifying with one network, how much more frustrating it must be for an issuer, acquirer or merchant that belongs to multiple networks, each one with its own set of rules, documentation requirements and certification timeframes. In addition to that overhead, the ongoing reliance on manual processes creates an environment that is almost too complex to manage.

Leveraging technology that enables the centralization and management of data, intelligent automation and the connectivity of all stakeholders can help streamline the entire certification process, saving time, money and resources. 

All of these challenges have a common solution, technology. The Paragon Web FASTest platform, for example, can run ​​unattended - 24x7x365 - providing networks, processors and their members with anytime, anywhere access to the required tests and valid test data, as well as dashboards and reports for tracking the progress of their certification project.

Interested in learning more? Get in touch with our team today.

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