We are delighted to welcome you to the Digital Payments Professional Certificate course. We invite you to read first through this brief introduction and overview of the course. You can also go directly to start the course by clicking the ‘Start the Course’ button above or by scrolling down to the end of this page.
The growth of digital payments
Despite the rapid growth of non-cash forms of payment over recent decades, cash remains the main payment method in most countries of the world today. The evolution of non-cash payments has proceeded first through cheques, then through wire transfers, and on to the cards system, and more recently digital payments.
Since the mid-1800s and the invention of the wire transfer and formation of businesses such as Western Union, many payments are electronic. Payments no longer require physically sending cash from location to location, but uses financial messages to move numbers around on electronic ledgers.
Banks have long controlled the payments business, and it was banks that were responsible for inventing the payment cards business in the middle of the twentieth century. Banks initially formed associations to process card transactions, resulting in the formation of businesses such as Visa and Mastercard and associated payment processors. Bank associations acquired powerful IBM computers: Payment processing tends to be highly centralised. Visa for several decades ran its entire global network from one processing centre in the US which is so secret that Visa will not reveal its location. Cards remain in wide use today. And while cash and cards remain popular, the real growth area nowadays is digital payments.
Digital payments are a product of the internet. They are supported by new infrastructure players including telcos and mobile phone manufacturers along with big tech companies such as Amazon, Google and Microsoft that offer cloud-based services and global connectivity. Billions of people now own mobile phones connected to a global network, and can send messages anywhere at a very low cost. While banks are great at moving large amounts infrequently, they’re not so good at moving small amounts regularly. Telcos on the other hand are well-placed to move small frequent amounts and people can use mobile or virtual wallets on their phones to send and receive money for personal or business use.
How to take the course
The Certificate in Digital Payments course is self-paced, so you can move through the lessons at a time that suits your schedule. The course is delivered in four modules, each dealing with a different area of payments, from cards and mobile payments to corporate payments and cryptocurrencies. You will have a total of 10 weeks to finish the course. We recommend that you try to finish the course inside six weeks. During this time, try to pay attention to the different payment methods that you use when shopping for groceries, or paying in stores!
When you finish each separate lesson, click on ‘Next lesson’ at the bottom of the page. Once you have clicked ‘Next lesson,’ the system will mark that lesson with a red circle. This will help you to keep track of what lessons you have finished.
The first module on cards traces the history and development of the cards industry, and the digitalisation of the sector in recent years.
The second module deals with non-card payments including mobile payments and international payments. In this module we also learn about e-money, cryptocurrencies and central bank digital currencies.
In the third module, you will learn about the main players in the payments industry. We also learn about the role of risk and compliance in the payments industry and in the regulation of the industry.
In the final module, you learn about the growing importance of data in payments, and how data analysis can assist in all other areas of the payments industry and add value to your business.
Taking the Quiz
When you have finished the lessons, you can then take the quiz. We recommend setting aside a separate portion of time to take the quiz, which has a time limit of 90 minutes. Once you successfully pass the quiz, you will be awarded the Certificate in Digital Payments, which you can download and save as a digital file.