2019 Tech Forum Agenda At-A-Glance

*Agenda is subject to change

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Opening Remarks

John Drechny (CEO, Merchant Advisory Group); Jamie Henry (VP, Emerging Payments– Walmart) and Frank Liberio (Founder, Strategy2Execution, LLC)

Emerging FinTech Players - Payments Included

Global funding for payments companies jumped from $8 billion in 2017 to $12 billion last year, according to Accenture. In the U.S., the payments category ate up 15% of all financial technology funding deals, more than any other segment of FinTech. Twelve payments companies made the Forbes FinTech 50 in 2019, the most since its introduction four years ago. This session will provide an overview of FinTech across emerging categories, including payments, where attendees will learn the business value FinTech solutions offer along with the types of technologies at play.

Presenters: Rob Mau (Partner, Oliver Wyman) and Rick Chavez (Partner, Oliver Wyman) 


Building Trust, Driving Growth: An Integrated Approach to Privacy

CISOs and other security leaders must continually be thinking about driving a culture of change and embedding security into their company’s DNA. Andrew Turner, CSO at FIS, will talk about how to transform an organization into one that prioritizes partnership and trust-building across the business including its partners and clients. By being frank and open about the threats of digital breach, security teams can drive the organization to be a risk-centered one that works to minimize the impact of breach rather than the unrealistic goal of total prevention. When the framework for risk is woven into an organization’s DNA, perception of the brand will naturally shift from a by-the-numbers, check-the-box, reactive state to one of change and growth enablement.

Presenter:  Andrew Turner (Chief Security Officer, FIS)


Networking Break - Exhibit Area


Keynote: Enterprise Architecture - Effective to Support the Future

Enterprise architecture has become more critical over the last five years.  In retail, changes are coming at lighting speed and companies need to build agility into their architecture design to ensure technology capabilities will achieve desired current and future organizational objectives in the most effective way.  In this moderated panel session, IT professionals from several retailers will provide attendees specific examples where architecture changes have been forced on them that ultimately required a change to enterprise architecture and the benefits they have gained as a result.

Moderator: Michael Manos (CTO, First Data now FISERV) 

Presenters: Donna Steel-Ponder (Senior Director Business Systems, McDonald's); Wes Sweet (Senior Director, Customer Facing Technology, Walmart); Justin Fletcher (Director Of Information Technology - App Dev & Strategy, Best Buy); Aman Singh (Senior Software Engineer, Etsy)

Blockchain - Is it Real?

Since blockchain advocates started promoting its capabilities over ten years ago, there has been a lot of speculation on what is real.  More recently what has emerged is a shared recognition that blockchain goes beyond the cryptocurrency use case—and that it can serve as a pragmatic solution to business problems across industries and use cases. Continuing evolution of blockchain from a capable yet underdeveloped technology into a refined and mature solution is positioned to disrupt.  Attendees of this session will learn about a variety of practical applications being leveraged today and new use cases poised for the future.

Presenters: David Tcheau (Blockchain Analyst, mSHIFT), Dean Sheaffer (SVP of Financial Services and Chief Compliance Officer, Boscov’s Department Stores), Tim Dwyer (VP & Assistant Treasurer, Nationwide Insurance)

Networking Lunch


MERCHANT ONLY SESSION: Enabling a Global Payments Organization Through Technology

The convergence of finance and technology is transforming the way the world creates, stores and exchanges value. Learn how APIs and open standards are creating decentralized digital banking platforms in the cloud that improve the customer experience, reduce counterparty risk, speed the transfer of value and optimize global resources.

Presenters: Ryan Sparks (Head of Transformation and International Expansion, Merchant Services, J.P. Morgan) and Sairam Rangachari (Global Head of Open Banking and API Strategy, Treasury Services, J.P.Morgan)

Conference Name Badges
For security reasons, MAG requires attendees to wear their name badges at all times during the Annual Conference + Tech Forum including evening networking events.  Merchants will be required to show badges when entering merchant only sessions. Badges are to be picked up upon arrival when you check in at the registration desk. Should you lose your badge, please come to the registration desk to receive a replacement.



IT organizations are consistently challenged to increase productivity and, as a result, many are moving away from waterfall to agile development.  Legacy systems make that transition extremely difficult and integrating other business units into the migration can offer increased complexities.  Join this moderated interactive session across MAG merchants regarding practices they have used to move to a full or hybrid form of agile and the value that has been achieved post migration.

Presenter:  Loren Allston (Sr. Consultant, W. Capra Consulting Group)

Conference Name Badges
For security reasons, MAG requires attendees to wear their name badges at all times during the Annual Conference + Tech Forum including evening networking events.  Merchants will be required to show badges when entering merchant only sessions. Badges are to be picked up upon arrival when you check in at the registration desk. Should you lose your badge, please come to the registration desk to receive a replacement.

Keynote: AI, IOT and RTPS, Surfing the Perfect Storm

The concurrent introduction of artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML) and now real time payments systems (RTPS) can unleash real value for merchants of all sizes. We are already seeing examples of how the combination of these three separate waves of change can be brought together to help customize the sales and marketing experience, reduce friction in purchasing and payments, as well as overall improving sales, and critical business decisioning.  Most recently, faster and more data rich payments rails are being combined with AI and IOT to offer not only smarter and more frictionless experiences, but also faster and more contextual experiences on a wave of location based services.  Merchants should be very optimistic about riding the wave resulting from the combination of these three innovations.

Presenters: Brian Shniderman (Principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP); Peter Davey (Payment Innovator, Futurist and Strategist, The Clearing House)

Networking Break - Exhibit Area


Payment Gateways & Switches - The Best Fit for Me?

Payment Gateway and Switch solutions are prevalent in the market today with a wide range of adoption among merchants. Some merchants use a third party solution while others are building in-house. This session will provide an overview of the various solutions and methods available while providing a perspective of the pros and cons of each. Attendees will walk away with decision criteria in order to evaluate the merchant members’ unique situation among the various options available.

Presenters: Andy Orrock (Chief Operating Officer, OLS) and Trace Ussery (Director of Business Development, OLS)

Point of Sale Evolution to Deliver an Innovative Customer Experience

The payments industry continues to increase innovation in commerce checkout experiences. Customers expect convenience and simplification with personalized experiences where, when, and how they wish to shop. This creates challenges alongside significant opportunity for retail. As a result, point of sale innovation has had to keep pace. Mobilization of checkout, hand held order takers, and self-checkout kiosks, to name a few, have been introduced in the retail customer experience. This moderated panel session among point of sale providers offers a view into the innovation currently emerging in retail locations and some forward looking perspective of what may be coming in the next 1-3 years.

Moderator: Drago Dzerve (VP - Industry Sales Leader, Bank of America Merchant Services) 

Presenters: Jean Kany (VP - Head of Global Enterprise Retail, Citcon); Irfan Nasir (Head of Solutions Development and Deployment, Ingenico); Aaron McLean (COO, Stuzo)

Improved Authentication Drives Value

As authentication methods become more secure and more complex, it is imperative that technologists understand how these technologies function and how they can be implemented on their platforms to offer security balanced with the goal of seamless checkout. This session will offer a viewpoint of authentication standards available, the value proposition of these standards, and how they are being implemented.

Presenters: Ranjita Iyer (SVP - Product Innovation, Identity Solutions, Mastercard); Andrew Shikiar (CMO, FIDO Alliance)

Closing Remarks

John Drechny (CEO, Merchant Advisory Group)