Payment processor responsibilities are similar to that of a bookkeeper: documenting payments for a company and performing customer service functions related to payments. While there are no formal education requirements, many employers prefer someone with an associate's or bachelor's degree. Payment processors have the option of obtaining certification through the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers (AIPB).
A payment processor is a financial clerk who records and processes payments for bills, fines, fees, or other transactions. Payment processors are employed by government offices, banks, mortgage and insurance companies, and other consumer services. Candidates must have a high school diploma or equivalent, and some employers may prefer those with an associate's or bachelor's degree. Many employers provide on-the-job training. For processors performing bookkeeping functions, optional certification is available through the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers (AIPB).
|Required Education||High school diploma or equivalent; associate's or bachelor's degree may be preferred|
|Optional Certification||Through the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers for candidates performing bookkeeping functions|
|Projected Job Growth (2018-2028)||8% decrease for bookkeeping, accounting and auditing clerks*|
|Median Annual Salary (2019)||$29,109 for consumer payment processing clerks, $35,744 for mortgage payment processing clerks**|
Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **Salary.com
Payment Processor Salary Information
In May 2018, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated median salaries of bookkeeping, accounting and auditing clerks, which includes payment processors, at $40,240 per year (www.bls.gov). More specifically, in 2019, Salary.com indicated nationwide median annual salaries for consumer payment processing clerks at $29,109 and mortgage payment processing clerks at $35,744.
Job Duties of a Payment Processor
Although specific duties vary depending on the industry and capacity in which they are employed, payment processing clerks engage in job tasks similar to those of bookkeeping and accounting clerks. Payment processors accept, document, and issue receipts for payments made in person, over the phone, online, or through the mail. As such, they may also perform customer service and accounting duties.
Clerks use a variety of office and computational machines to track and maintain account information, enter alphanumeric data, code documents, and create financial reports. They may also be responsible for preparing bank deposits, which requires checking for accuracy and reconciling any errors.
Requirements for Payment Processors
Payment processing jobs usually require a high school diploma or GED, although the BLS notes that some employers may prefer applicants who have completed college coursework or an associate's degree. Since the position requires an aptitude for quick and accurate mathematical calculations, as well as extensive use of computer technology, high school or college coursework in mathematics, business, and computers may benefit potential payment processors. Aspiring payment processors may also consider courses in bookkeeping, accounting, and financial principles.
November 2013 job postings on CareerBuilder.com and elsewhere for various types of payment processors also requested applicants to have experience in office or clerical work, customer service, and handling monetary transactions. The BLS also stated that on-the-job training is usually provided by employers in this field.
Payment Processor Career Information
The BLS cites information on payment processors with bookkeepers, accounting, and auditing clerks. Accordingly, the Bureau notes that employment prospects for these individuals were projected to decrease by 4% between 2018 and 2028.
Payment processors performing bookkeeping duties may consider voluntary certifications in order to advance their careers. The American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers certifies qualified individuals who have accrued two years of job experience, passed a four-part test, and signed the AIPB ethics code (www.aipb.org).
Payment processors are organized, have strong customer service skills, are mathematically minded and understand the fine details of business transactions. If this sounds like something you're interested in then becoming a payment processor might be the right career choice for you.