Electronic Payments Risk Management and Compliance
– Acquiring Perspective

Intermediate Level

Course Description

Managing business risk in today’s electronic payments industry is paramount to the success of any payments company. Criminals and other “bad guys” are constantly testing and penetrating payments networks and companies to take advantage of vulnerabilities and gain access to valuable customer data and other information. In addition, government regulations and payment network rules continue to evolve, making compliance more challenging. Failure to properly protect data and manage all aspects of payments risk potentially opens up a company to enormous liabilities, including damage to a company’s reputation and brand equity as well as to significant financial risk.

To meet these challenges, risk management professionals must be up to date on the latest tools, processes and policies that are being adopted and continually adapted to deal with these ever increasing issues. This is particularly true for startups and young companies that accept payments in the eCommerce, mobile and POS environments. This information packed, collaborative course provides participants with an overview of the many types of payments business risk and how to manage those risks as they apply to the acquiring side of the payments value chain.

Overall Course Objective

The course will enable risk management and payments professionals to gain an in-depth understanding of how to manage the many risks involved in accepting and/or processing merchant payment transactions, as well as to ensure compliance with the myriad of payment network rules and government regulations.

By the completion of the course, participants will be able to:

Identify specific areas of risk that are relevant for each participant’s payment acceptance and business

Identify appropriate risk management best practice strategies to reduce exposure

Develop a unique, individual list to take back to the office to enhance risk management policies and procedures


The course is geared toward experienced payments industry professionals and risk officers who want to learn and understand:

What risk management policies and procedures are available that support successful payments acceptance and processing businesses

The many sources and types of payment and business risk that exist and how those risks can be properly managed

The key players are and their evolving roles as participants in the acquiring side of the industry (e.g., independent service organizations (ISO), payment facilitators (PF), aggregators, payment service providers (PSP), processors, etc.).

More about this course:

Detailed Course Objectives

By the end of the course, participants will:

Gain an in depth understanding of industry best practices and tools for managing payment acceptance, fraud and credit risk as well as policies and procedures for ensuring compliance with payment network rules and government regulations across the following functional areas:

  • Merchant screening and underwriting
  • Merchant onboarding
  • Merchant portfolio risk management, monitoring and reporting
  • Policy and process requirements for PSPs/PFs
  • Sponsorship and monitoring of ISO and PF business models

Understand reasons for and what policies and procedures can be utilized to ensure compliance with various payment network rules and regulatory requirements related to:

  • KYC, OFAC, AML. BSA, SARS, etc. checks and reporting
  • Data, information and portfolio security, including PCI DSS compliance
  • Payment network rules and standards
  • Complexities of cross border payments.

Course Framework

1. Merchant Screening and Underwriting
  • Signing policy
    • Merchant categories and acceptable risk
  • Merchant application requirements and procedures
    • Data and information requirements
    • Verification and approval processes
    • Use of payment network data bases (MATCH, VMTS, etc.)
    • Regulatory requirements (KYC, OFAC, AML. BSA, etc.)
    • Merchant migration models--aggregation to merchant of record
  • Merchant underwriting
    • Standard criteria
    • Enhanced due diligence for high risk merchants
    • Approval and override policies
    • Risk mitigation procedures and practices


2. Merchant Onboarding
  • New merchant set-up
    • Registration with payment network brands: high-brand risk merchants and other agents
    • Merchant due diligence
    • Security and PCI DSS compliance
  • Merchant agreements
    • Risk exposure and credit risk management
    • Agreement terms and conditions


3. Merchant Portfolio Risk Management and Monitoring
  • Periodic account review
    • Merchant selection criteria
    • Periodic review content
    • Risk mitigation actions
  • Merchant servicing, transaction, customer dispute and fraud monitoring
    • Chargeback and customer dispute monitoring
    • Fraud management tools
    • Exception activity reporting
    • Time frames and compliance
    • Cross border payment issues
  • Suspect violation investigation
    • Investigation policy
    • Establishing intervention authority
  • Loss control
    • Terminating merchants
  • Third party agent due diligence
  • Usage policies for third party agents
  • Ongoing due diligence and validation tools
  • Merchant training and education requirements
  • Vendor Management
    • Isolating sound business practices


4. Settlement Risk
  • Credit risk management, financial controls and reporting
  • Reserve policy and optimization
  • Risk / reward trade-offs
  • Payment network and regulatory requirements


5. Payment Transaction and Data Security
  • PCI DSS compliance requirements
  • P2PE (Point To Point Encryption), 3D secure, strong encryption and tokenization
  • Secure Server Sessions (IPsec/TLS/SSL)
  • Secure POS/POI Sessions (TLS/SSL)
  • Client/Server Certificate Authorization


6. Changing Market Dynamics
  • Aggregator and Payment Facilitator risk management characteristics
  • ISO/PSP/PF and evolving acquirer payment acceptance models

Course Fee

Course 1
Course 2

Global Vision Group Company Description:

Global Vision Group is a payments industry consultancy firm that provides creative, cost-effective solutions to strategic and tactical issues.

Our team is comprised of 12 professionals with experience and expertise covering the spectrum of disciplines in payment systems and
business enterprise strategy.

To learn more please visit our website at

Meet the GVGroup Instructors

Thomas Layman, PhD
Thomas Layman, PhD
Tom Layman is the President and Founder of Global Vision Group. In addition to managing the company, he serves as the leader of its strategy practice group. His specialties include business strategy, financial modeling, research and risk mitigation.

Tom has over 30 years of international and domestic experience in the financial services and electronic payments industry. Prior to creating Global Vision Group, Tom was Senior Vice President with Visa U.S.A., holding a number of executive positions during his 11-year career there. He managed the Visa Profitability Consulting practice, as well as all of the business research functions, which included performing cost reduction and benchmarking studies, and served as Chief Economist.

As global relationship manager at Visa, Tom helped US-based issuers launch programs overseas. He also headed up all of Visa's efforts to mitigate the impact of personal bankruptcies on creditors, and cochaired a creditor coalition that helped write, introduce, and lobby bankruptcy legislation.

Prior to Visa, most of his experience was directed toward assessing the business environment risk of emerging markets. Tom holds a BA from Vanderbilt University and a PhD in international trade and finance from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Tom has over 20 published articles on credit card and economic policy issues and is coauthor of a book on the role of foreign direct investment in Indonesia. Tom also Chairs the Board of Directors of the San Francisco Consumer Credit Counseling Service (dba Balance).
Vinod Zalpuri
Vinod Zalpuri
Practice Leader, Operations & Efficiency Practice
Vinod is a GVGroup principal and leads the risk, operations & efficiency practice, where he specializes in best practices for debit, credit and ACH products, credit risk policy evaluation, risk and marketing score cards.

He has over 25 years of success in financial services and payment system organizations, developing and managing initiatives that enhance a company’s position, brand-differentiation and competitive strengths in the marketplace.

Vinod was Vice President with Visa USA for nearly a decade, where he was in charge of Issuer Risk Management and spearheaded various benchmarking and cost reduction initiatives in risk management to improve bankcard industry profitability.

Prior to joining Visa in 1992, Vinod was with Bank of America, where he was on the project team that successfully implemented the Flex Project bank-wide in 12 months.

He was also responsible for management of business unit financial reporting functions, spearheading one the major process-change projects undertaken by the bank.

His background also includes three years project management experience developing national grid infrastructure in Africa.

Vinod earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering from Kashmir University and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from San Francisco State University.
Kevin Atwood
Kevin Atwood
Senior Consultant
Kevin is senior consultant with GVGroup and brings over 23 years of experience domestically and internationally in the financial services and electronic payments industry.

Kevin’s career includes attaining the position of Senior Vice President at Visa, responsible for sales and partnerships with multiple top 10 issuing and acquiring banks that generated more than $40 billion in annual card sales volume. During his tenure there, Kevin was instrumental in delivering numerous new products and services to Visa’s banking clients. For example, Kevin supported supported the creation, development and initial launch of several fraud reduction programs, including the Issuers’ Clearing House Service and AntiCounterfeit Terminal Program, which have continued to save issuers millions of dollars.

In 2002, Kevin joined Wells Fargo Bank as Vice President and National Relationship Manager for the Merchant Processing Business. Kevin also served as a mortgage lending officer at Washington Mutual Bank, where he brought card marketing innovation concepts to the Home Loan Mortgage Banking Division.

Given this deep domain experience in the financial services industry, Kevin’s expertise covers a broad range of areas, including marketing, debit, credit and ACH products, customer life cycle management, relationship management, product innovation, merchant processing in both the physical and online environment, co-branding, commercial card products, operations, risk management and collections. Kevin holds a B.A. degree from San Jose State University.
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