A strong majority of candidates passed the first examination for the acquiring industry’s new Certified Payments Professional credential.

Of 221 who took the test in November, 180, or 81%, earned passing marks, according to the Electronic Transactions Association, which administered the test in locations throughout North America.

“The announcement of this first class of Certified Payments Professionals is a historic milestone for ETA and the payments industry,” Pamela Furneaux, the association’s interim CEO, said in a Jan. 10 press release.

The ETA expects the credential to raise standards in the acquiring industry and help merchants choose acquiring partners (see story).

“For the first time, merchants who accept electronic payments have access to a group of professionals who have demonstrated a thorough, well-rounded knowledge of their profession that is easy to verify,” Furneaux said in the release.

Names of the candidates who earned the credential are available online.

The test covered sales, pricing and interchange, business process, operations and workflow, products and services, risk, regulation, compliance, and security, the association said.

The association plans to administer the exam again in May. Application deadline for that second round of testing is April 1.

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