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CIBN, NIBSS introduce e-payment certification to bridge knowledge gap

The Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) in collaboration with Nigerian Inter-Bank Settlement System Plc (NIBSS) on Tuesday introduced a Professional Certification Programme on Electronic Payments to the financial services industry.

The innovations in payment technology will boost business transactions worldwide with higher professionalism for sustainability and growth.

The certification programme was introduced to codify the Nigeria e-Payments knowledgebase and determine the knowledge and work experience criteria required to recognize practitioners and beginners, intermediate and advanced levels.

Premier Oiwoh, managing director/CEO of the NIBSS Plc, said it would also create a growth roadmap for fledgling e-Payment workers, including the unemployed who has the desire to make a career in the Electronic Payments ecosystem within the emerging and burgeoning banking, payments and financial technology industry in Nigeria.

The Nigeria financial services industry, he noted, has come a long way and is currently leading the pace in payments compared to our international counterparts yet to achieve most of the milestones we have. This Professional Certification Programme will in no doubt evolve as a specialist practice in setting the standards for e-payment expertise in e-payments and financial technology profession, he said.

Also speaking at the event, Seye Awojobi, registrar/chief executive of the CIBN, said the introduction of the certification cannot be more timely than now given the recent experience with the outbreak of the COVID-19 Pandemic which created serious disruptions in professional and personal lives of the people.

He said the programme is an international outlook, well grounded in the local realities of the Nigerian e-Payment Ecosystem and captured the current dynamics as well as all aspects of the digital financial services’ practices.

According to Awojobi, the objectives of the Certification Programme are, to set the standards for e-payment expertise in Nigeria; Foster a category of high performing professionals in the industry and build a resilient, safe and secured e-payment system in Nigeria. He also said that the curriculum for the rogramme adequately covers the current trends and the required knowledge areas in line with the global best practices, noting that it has three levels of achievements.

For Certified e-Payment Associate (CePA), he said that the level is to provide entry level certification path for payment professionals and has four subjects as follows: Introduction to Electronic Payments (E-Payment); E-Payment Operations; E-Payment Regulation, and E-Payment Operations Simulation Lab & Experiential Learning.

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For Certified e-Payment Professional (CePP), this level is to provide intermediate level certification path for qualified CePA and has seven subjects as follows: The Business of Digital Financial Services & Innovation (DFS); Digital Identity; E-Payment Technology and Operations; The Regulatory Environment for DFS; E-Payment Security: Audit & Compliance; Financial Inclusion (FI), and E-Payment Operations Simulation Lab & Experiential Learning.

Certified e-Payment Specialist (CePS) is awarded to qualified CePP holder interested in the pursuit of a specialty path and has five subjects as follows: Payments System Innovation Strategy (PSIS); The Payments System of the Future; E-Payment System and National Economic Development; Comparison of the National Payment System of select countries; and E-Payment Operations Simulation Lab & Experiential Learning.

Awojobi also noted that to maintain a certification credential, the E-Payment Practitioner must earn some recertification credits over the three-year span and every Certification is valid for three years after its award.

He said that all the necessary information on the eligibility criteria for each level, the registration requirements, process fees e.t.c. are available at [] for staff of licensed payment service providers (Commercial Banks, Microfinance Banks, Mortgage Banks, Mobile Money Operators, Payment Solution Service Providers, Payment Terminal Service Providers, Payment Service Banks, and Super-Agents), young graduates and job applicants who desire to pursue a career in e-payments.

He said the Professional E-Payment Certification Programme will continue to be updated in-line with the emerging trends to ensure that we are ahead technology-wise and move practitioners in the right direction.

The first set of exams for the certification level will be held in April 2021 while he encouraged existing practitioners and others interested in having a career in the financial services industry to take advantage of this opportunity to enhance their knowledge and skills in electronic payments.

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