Newsletters

MAG Insights

  • Best Practices

    Recently the NYCE network announced a change to their PIN debit network rules. According to their announcement “The rule change will limit the use of a reversal to cancel the last transaction, also known as a void, to purchase transactions only. Merchants will be liable for chargebacks of NYCE transactions, if a cancel or void of a PIN Debit merchandise return is processed.”
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  • Innovate Now

    These are busy days. The US EMV migration is well underway, and the complexity of the process is now understood. Of particular concern is EMV certification.
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  • MAG Sponsor Spotlight

    As recent news stories have illustrated, a data breach can not only harm a retailer financially, but also damage their reputation and impact consumers’ trust. Here are three reasons merchants need to take a greater stance to protect customer data.
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  • MAG Member Corner

    VISA is currently offering Petroleum and C-Store merchants a new service called VISA Transaction Advisor. The intent of the service is to score a transaction based on the risk assessment using all of the data that VISA has available about the account, the cardholders, type of transaction, historical transaction data and so forth.
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  • Board Member Corner

    As we all know, the payments industry has entered into a dynamic and uncertain time for the entire set of stakeholders — merchants, banks, brands and consumers alike.
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  • What’s Up in Washington

    Rewind to the first of the year, and one of the hottest topics in Congress was payment card breaches. Nine months later, several pieces of legislation have been introduced, numerous Congressional hearings have taken place, and various representatives — both from the government and private industry — have testified on payment card security and data breaches. But what has been accomplished?
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  • Letter from CEO

    The payments industry is unnecessarily (and some would say intentionally unnecessarily) complex. The present system gives rise to all sorts of abuse — especially abuse of small businesses — by those who capitalize on the knowledge gap; merchants are typically the victims of this exploitation.
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  • Merchant Community Coalesces Behind Open Process for Security Standards to Better Protect U.S. Consumers and Businesses from Cybercriminal Activity

    The Merchant Advisory Group (MAG), along with several merchant trade associations released a statement supporting an open process for the creation of security standards to better protect U.S. consumer and businesses from cyber criminal activity.
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  • MAG Sponsor UL Publishes Whitepapers

    Prevention is Better than the Cure & EMV Migration and Certification in the US
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  • MAG Announces 2014 Annual Conference Program for Merchant Payments Professionals

    The Merchant Advisory Group (MAG) announces the conference line-up for the MAG 2014 Annual Conference, September 16-18 at the Marriott Harbor Beach Hotel in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
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  • Collaborating on Operational Issues

    At the next MAG annual meeting [September 16 - 18 in Ft. Lauderdale] an important, new discussion will take place. The MAG will invite the card brands to discuss a compendium of merchant suggested operational improvements. To our knowledge no other organization has collected and prioritized the great ideas for operational improvements we hear from merchants every day...this will be another industry first for the MAG.
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  • New MAG Bench Marking and Best Practices Initiative

    The MAG communication committee is embarking on an important new initiative and would like your input. Historically there has been very little payment systems benchmarking data or a source for payment systems best practices in the merchant community. As a result, it is difficult at best for even the largest merchants to understand what they are doing well and where they can improve. The MAG proposes to remedy this through a series of data / information gathering surveys. The data collected from member surveys will be aggregated and made anonymous so that we will mitigate the risk of individual company’s information becoming public.
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  • A Mobile Wallet Day in the Life

    Imagine this: On a sunny spring day, Jen, a 36 year-old wife and mother, puts her kids on the bus for school and leaves her suburban home for yet another busy day. Her first stop is the gas station to fill-up her SUV. She used to go wherever was convenient during her day, but now she makes a point to fill-up at stations in one specific chain because their new smartphone app gives her $.10 off per gallon when she uses the app to operate the pump and pay using her stored checking account information.
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  • MAG Sponsor Spotlight

    Despite powerful support from the major players and huge amounts money spent on it, NFC based mobile payments have not taken off. Now there is a movement to change how mobile payments work, making them simpler, better and cheaper. There are also new technologies that take the pain out of merchants supporting mobile payments.
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  • MAG Member Corner

    Dunkin' Brands Group, Inc., is the parent company of two of America’s most recognized brands, Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins. Dunkin’ Brands’ nearly 100 percent franchised business model includes more than 7,700 Dunkin' Donuts restaurants and nearly 2,500 Baskin-Robbins restaurants in the U.S. alone. Dunkin’ Donuts has a more seasoned gift card program and recently launched two exciting initiatives that utilize the Dunkin’ Donuts Stored Value Card (DD Card) in a powerful way. These two initiatives, including the launch of a mobile application and a rewards program, are designed to reinforce Dunkin’ Donuts’ coffee and breakfast leadership and support the brand’s steady, strategic growth. As a franchisor, we are always looking for ways to improve our restaurants profitability.
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  • Board Member Corner

    Imagine for a moment that you are a business owner and the primary product you sell is a product that everyone needs, but is extremely competitive, driving the profit margin down to less than 4%. Now imagine that in order to sell that product, you have to accept some form of credit card, which typically takes 1.75% to 2.50% of your sale. Hypothetically, let's call that product "gas". Just to help you build your business case for selling that product, let's put a number to this product, and call that price $3.50 per unit, with a $0.12 profit margin. Oh yes, and your profit margin is a fixed number, not a percentage of sales, so if your product price moves up or down, your margin stays the same. Now, because the product is so competitive, add a daily swing in your profit of up to +/- $0.08. With your cost of payment, which does of course, change with the price of your product, running at an average of $0.07 per unit. Build me a business case for jumping into that business. Crazy right? For any good businessman, that's a tough proposition.
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  • Letter From the CEO

    It’s not just that Visa’s mad at Walmart and Walmart’s mad at Visa. Everybody connected to payments is mad at everybody else; and, it seems to be getting worse!
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  • The MAG Announces Staff Addition

    The Merchant Advisory Group, the MAG, is pleased to announce Liz Garner has joined the MAG staff in a newly created role as Vice President. Liz has held positions with both the National Restaurant Association and with the Food Marketing Institute. Liz brings to the MAG her considerable experience in advocating for merchants as well as a strong payments background.
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  • Member Perspective

    June 3, 2013-My experience with the MAG started after I left ADS and joined Tesoro. As someone new to the merchant community, I immediately began to realize that many merchants had a superficial understanding of payments.
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  • Letter From the CEO

    The MAG responded to news of recent breaches involving payment card data in a public release dated January 13, 2014. The MAG felt compelled to respond in light of what we felt were biased or uniformed reports by many in the media to the affect that merchants were primarily to blame for the breaches.
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  • MAG Sponsor Spotlight

    The recent exposure of card data, following security breaches at a number of retailers is just the latest in an unfortunately long line of such events. Not restricted to small owner-operated stores, some of the most sophisticated and well run retailers on the planet find themselves in the press for all the wrong reasons. For any who have been even tangentially involved in a data breach either as retailer, acquirer or technology vendor, the pressure is acute and unforgettable and this says nothing to the impact on our cardholder customers.
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  • Innovate Now

    I am proud to have had the opportunity to present the AnyWhereMobile Payment Network (AWM) at the MAG 2014 Mid-Year Conference. MShift’s ambition is to calm the interchange waters between issuers, merchants, and payment networks through innovation, rather than litigation and legislation. The blended per transaction debit interchange pricing that was presented represents a 50% reduction from today’s debit interchange rate.
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  • MAG Member Corner

    In light of the recent data breaches at fellow merchants, there is a heightened focus on security and fraud in the payment industry and beyond. Even government entities are inquiring, investigating, and likely considering further regulation. Unintentional, ill-informed decisions by any of the stakeholders could lead to significant work and investment with little impact on fraud. For that reason, it is essential to understand the benefits, limitations and consequences of any approach relative to the critical objectives.
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  • Board Member Corner

    Many merchants do not have a complete understanding of the total cost of payment acceptance for their business. While payments may be esoteric to a merchant's core business (buying and selling goods and services), the costs of various payment methods vary widely and often equal or exceed a merchant's bottom line profit.
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  • MAG Mid-Year Conference

    The MAG 2014 Mid-Year Conference held February 11-13th in Atlanta, GA, was a success despite the 100-year Atlanta winter storm. The conference showed record attendance with over 200 attendees from cross industry verticals .
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