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Certificate in Principles of Payments (CertPAY)

CertPAY enables professionals working in the global payments industry to attain an internationally recognised qualification. It will provide you 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.

About the qualification

This new industry-focused programme enables you to develop specialist knowledge and skills relating to products, purpose, structure and inherent risks associated with payments. Available to study worldwide, CertPAY is suitable for anyone working in the sector including payments specialists, managers and operational, compliance and risk team members. If you are working in, or aspiring to work in the payments industry, completing CertPAY will demonstrate your knowledge and understanding of the sector, and provide a formal recognition of your professionalism.

SWIFT-Institute-LogoThe Certificate in Principles of Payments is endorsed by the SWIFT Institute.*

Read topical articles about the payments industry written by the qualification’s Technical Reviewers in our CertPAY Content Series.

The Certificate in Principles of Payment is a Level 3 qualification registered with Ofqual in the Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF).

*SWIFT Institute has not contributed to nor is responsible for the course content.

Key Facts

  • Registration is open year-round
  • Comprehensive study materials are provided
  • Multiple-choice exam assessment
  • On-demand exams available internationally with same day results
  • Upon completion, you are able to use the 'CertPAY' designation after your name
CPQ Blue Testimonial

CertPay introduces students to the principles of payments, breaking down the complexities of global payments into easy to understand topics. The qualification also introduces students to common payment terminology and explores the technological innovation that shapes and drives the payment industry today.

Michael Aragona - Author, Principles of Payments


CertPAY consists of two units.

Unit 1 - Principles of the Payments Industry (PPA)

  • The structure of the industry and the component parts of payments
  • The economic value and systemic importance of payments
  • The global infrastructure of payments

Unit 2 - Payment Regulation, Risk and Compliance (PRC)

  • Payment regulation and compliance
  • The risks, data protection and system security associated with the payments industry


Online access to study texts is available immediately after registration has been completed. The study text contains review questions and activities to support your learning. A specimen paper is also provided to test your learning. A hardcopy version of the textbook can be purchased for £40 + postage and will be available from the end of May.

200 study hours are recommended. Typically the course will take around 26 weeks to complete, studying up to 7 hours a week.


CertPAY is assessed through a single 85-minute objective exam, split into two units.

Unit 1 - PPA

35 multiple-choice questions
(40 mins)

Unit 2 - PRC

25 multiple-choice questions and two case studies each with 5 linked questions
(45 mins)

The exam can be taken at selected centres worldwide with the result provided on the day. 

View information on examination booking and venues 

Register Your Interest

Registration for CertPAY will open 29 March 2017. If you are interested in studying this qualification, please fill out the form below and we will contact you with a unique offer code to receive 10% discount from the registration fee and provide further details on how to register.

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Looking for further information


For registration and other enquiries please contact Student and Customer Services on +44 (0)12 2781 8609.