AAP Study Program - Your Path to Becoming an AAP

Your organization benefits from your knowledge!

The PaymentsFirst AAP Study Program was designed with the student in mind. This program offers comprehensive knowledge to help you prepare for the AAP exam, while providing you with an interactive experience and a valuable support system outside the classroom. Designed by trainers with an extensive background in electronic payments for aspiring AAP candidates. 

4 convenient ways for you to participate, you choose which one works best for you!

  1. AAP Study Program includes one two-day Review session, a Study Syllabus, Study Modules, Online Quizzes and Monthly Conference Calls
  2. AAP Webinar Series includes ten 90 minute webinars (nine module reviews and one review/recap session)
  3. AAP Study Program PLUS includes the AAP Study Program AND the AAP Webinar Series listed above
  4. AAP Self-Paced Session includes a Study Syllabus, Study Module PDFs, Online Quizzes and monthly conference calls

I want to be an AAP! - Now Available On-Demand

2019 AAP Study Program Information (begins April 2019)

AAP Study Programonly $695 for members | $1,390 for nonmember

  • ACH Primer & Navigating the NACHA Operating Rules On-Demand (prior to AAP Review session)
  • AAP Review - One 2 day in-person AAP Review session (locations and dates below)
    • 9am-4pm both days
      • Columbia SC - 4/9 & 4/10
      • Birmingham AL - 4/16 & 4/17
      • Nashville TN - 4/17 & 4/18
      • Atlanta GA - 4/24 & 4/25
  • Printed copies of Study Modules (delivered at respective AAP Review session)
    • Online modules
  • Study Syllabus w/ Online Quiz Schedule
  • Monthly Conference Calls (recordings will also be available)


AAP Webinar Series (live session AND recording) – only $995 for members | $1,990 for nonmembers

  • 10 Webinar Series covering the AAP Study Modules plus a Review / Wrap-Up session
    • 2pm - 3:30pm ET / 1pm - 2:30pm CT
    • May 20, June 3. June 17, July 1, July 15, July 29, August 15 (Thursday session), August 26, September 9
    • September 23 - Review & Wrap-Up
  • ACH Primer & Navigating the NACHA Operating Rules On-Demand
  • Study Modules PDFs


AAP Study Program PLUS – only $1,595 for members | $3,190 for nonmembers
The perfect combination of in-person and on-demand training

  • AAP Study Program plus
  • AAP Webinar Series (includes live sessions AND recording)


AAP Self Study Program – only $350 for members | $700 for nonmembers

  • Study Syllabus w/ Online Quiz Schedule
  • Study Modules PDFs
  • Monthly Conference Calls (recordings will also be available)
    • June 7, July 12, August 16, September 13, and October 4
    • 10:30am-11:00am ET / 9:30am-10:00am CT


* Note: The AAP Review In-Person sessions may also be purchased as a standalone below:

AAP Review In-Person only - $495 for members | $990 for nonmembers

April 9th & 10th Columbia, SC
 Registration coming soon
April 16th & 17th Birmingham, AL
 Registration coming soon
April 17th & 18th Nashville, TN
 Registration coming soon
April 24th & 25th Atlanta, GA
 Registration coming soon



Looking for additional study materials?

AAP Prep Publications Package – only $350 for members | $700 for nonmembers

  • 2019 NACHA Operating Rules and Guidelines
  • ACH Compliance Manual
  • ACH Product and Marketing Handbook
  • Revised UCC4A and the ACH Network
  • AAP Flashcards (available late Spring 2019)
  • ACH Pro CD 2019 (available late Spring 2019)



Why Should I Become an AAP?

AAPs are recognized throughout the payments industry as subject matter experts. The AAP designation distinguishes you within your organization and throughout the payments industry as one who has taken the extra step to become an expert in the field.

AAPs are in-demand and are recognized throughout the payments industry as the “go-to” staff member for all things ACH.

Achieving the AAP accreditation clearly demonstrates your commitment and dedication to the payments profession and boosts your profile in any company or government agency.

As long as you remain certified through Continuing Education or retesting, the AAP designation is yours. Holding the AAP designation could open new doors to career growth or opportunities.

AAP Value Proposition for Companies

Having staff on board that have the AAP credential reinforces that your organization is continually at the forefront of the information chain regarding current changes and updates to the NACHA Operating Rules and current Federal and state payments industry regulations. Key areas that your organization will profit from by having AAP-credentialed staff include but are not limited to:

  • Customer Satisfaction
  • Risk Management
  • Cost Control
  • Operational Efficiency
  • Product Development
  • Compliance

Who Should Get Accredited?

Any professional in the payments industry can work toward accreditation. If you’ve worked in ACH for at least two years, you’ll be adding a highly respected qualification to your professional development. if you’re relatively new to the field, you’ll give yourself an edge over the competition. At a minimum, NACHA recommends spending two years working in the payments industry before taking the AAP exam.

Exam Cost and Test Dates

2019 AAP Exam Information

AAP Exam Scheduling Instructions

Registration for the 2019 exam opens Monday, January 14, 2019.

2019 Test Window: Monday, Oct. 7, 2019 – Saturday, Oct. 26, 2019

Registration End Date: Friday, Sept. 13
Member: $495
Non-Member: $625

Late Registration Period *: Saturday, Sept. 14 - Tuesday, Oct. 1
Member: $545
Non-Member: $675

Deferral End Date *: Friday, September 20
Member: $125
Non-Member: $125

Late Deferral Period *: Saturday, September 21 - Tuesday, October 1
Member: $150
Non-Member: $150

Substitution End Date *: Tuesday, October 1
Member: $90
Non-Member: $90

Cancellation End Date *: Friday, August 30, 2019
Member: $60
Non-Member: $60

*A written request is required for deferrals and cancellations.  Absolutely no registrations, deferrals, or substitutions will be processed after the deadline.

Register for Exam

Recommended Publications

Click here for Suggested Supplemental Resources

2019 NACHA Operating Rules and Guidelines
ACH Pro 2019 CD (available late Spring 2019)
The ACH Compliance Manual
AAP Flashcards 
ACH Marketing Handbook
Revised Uniform Commercial Code Article 4A and the Automated Clearing

Each publication can be purchased individually or as the AAP Prep Publication package


AAP Continuing Education Credits (CECs)

An AAP must earn 60 hours of Continuing Education, with no more than 20 hours earned in any one year, during the five year accreditation period. AAPs also have an option to retest during the fourth or fifth year if the Continuing Education requirements are not met.

Reporting of Credits: Please keep track of continuing education credits earned throughout the year.

  • Filing Deadline Date:  March 31st (for prior year)
  • Late Filing Deadline - April 30th (late fee applies)
  • File Credits online

How do I Earn AAP Credits?

How Many Credits Have I Earned?

This information is at your finger tips.
  1. Log into www.paymentsfirst.org
  2. Go to Members Only Section 
  3. View/Pay Invoices to see a history of training you attended.
  4. Add up the credits
AAP Credits per training opportunity
One day workshop - 5.4
Webinar * - 60 minutes - 1.2 / 90 minutes - 1.8
Solutions Conference - Up to 15 credits
Birmingham Education Event - up to 8.2
Payments Summit - up to 10.2

* Note about Webinar Recordings

AAPs may submit up to 10 credit hours for self-study. Pre-recorded webinars originally held in the same calendar year for which credits are being earned are included in this new category. Please note, AAPs are not able to re-submit credits for any webinar they listened to during the live broadcast, and management certification for time spent listening is required.

Please reference the AAP Continuing Education Guidelines for more information.