— First appeared in FSANA Flight Training News, October 20, 2022
How examiners allow applicants to pay for their testing services is modernizing much like the rest of our industry. Even just a few short years ago most DPEs accepted cash or check only as payment for their testing services. FSANA's 2022 Practical Test Pricing Survey indicates that more DPEs are now allowing test applicants to pay through credit or debit cards. When asked if they accepted credit/debt cards for payment, 20% of respondents in 2022's survey affirmed they did compared to 12% in 2018's survey. Digital payment methods such as PayPal, Cashapp, Zelle, and others is on the rise also. As technology allows payment directly between parties on mobile devices, it appears many examiners are adopting these digital payment methods.
A significant increase in reporting that they are accepting payment through the flight training provider. As sourcing of practical tests has become constricted in many areas, flight training providers themselves have in many cases engaged in sourcing DPEs to provide services for their customers. In these cases, many DPEs are directly billing and being paid by the businesses that are providing the training. This appears to be most common in university and collegiate operations, large scale academy style training events, and 141 training programs that are providing training for customers who are using loans or other funding sources.