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The Electronic Transactions Association, a Washington, D.C.-based trade group representing the merchant acquiring industry, is working on a credentialing program for people who sell merchant services, Carla Balakgie, ETA CEO, tells CardLine sister publication ISO&Agent Weekly. "We want to mitigate some of the less scrupulous practices out there," Balakgie says. Currently, the ETA is conducting a job analysis survey to determine what duties workers perform, whether they work in sales, operations, finance or technology. Balakgie says the results will help determine the nature of the credentialing exam. The timeframe for completing this phase, and debuting the exam, is dependent on what the ETA discovers. The job analysis phase, which starts in October, could take between six and nine months, Balakgie says. Balakgie says the concept of a certification program or similar effort has been discussed in the merchant acquiring industry for several years. A credentialing program may accomplish a couple of goals, she says. After conducting a feasibility study, the ETA found there is demand in the merchant acquiring industry for this type of program. And a credentialing program demonstrates the ability of the industry to regulate itself, something that could be important as government regulators could look at merchant acquirers, Balakgie says.

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