The MAG 2016 Annual Conference
"Payments Evolution: From Product to Strategy"

Online Registration Opening Tuesday, June 7th
The 2016 MAG Annual Conference, “Payments Evolution: From Product to Strategy,” will be held September 27-29 at the Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina in San Diego, CA. Payments have always played an integral role in commerce, but have gradually taken on far more importance. Today, cost of payment acceptance has risen to levels that rival costs of occupancy and human resources for many merchants. Omni-channel commerce, the importance of big data and the need to minimize time at the checkout have joined cost as major considerations for developing a comprehensive payments strategy. The MAG's 2016 Annual Conference will focus on this theme. Join us as we engage on this important topic. MAG members receive three complimentary registrations.

With over 100 of the top merchant companies in attendance, the conference will feature educational sessions covering:
  • Keynote Address: David Nelms
    (CEO, Discover Financial Services)
  • Keynote Address: Frank Bisignano
    (CEO, First Data)
  • Chargebacks
  • Payments 101 / 201
  • Merchant Only Special Interest Groups
  • Corporate Strategies for Preventing Payments Fraud
  • ACH Processing
  • Omni Channel
  • The latest on EMV
Mark your calendars for June 7th to register on the MAG Website for this important payments event!

“I find the MAG conferences to be some of the most valuable events in the payments acceptance industry. The conferences are put together by merchants so they focus on topics of interest and really delve into the issues from a merchant's perspective. The small interest group sessions with your industry peers are invaluable.”

– Gina Powers,
Assistant Treasurer,
Dunkin' Brands, Inc. and MAG Merchant Member

*View Conference Agenda
*Subject to Change

By John Drechny, MAG Board Chairman & Senior Director of Payments Services, Walmart

Now is the best time to begin working in payments as innovation and the ability to provide value to our customers are at their peak. In this short letter, I want to convey how I believe the MAG has the ability to increase merchants' influence on the payment industry going forward. Read the Full Article

By Lee Jurgens, Past MAG Chairman & CEO, Prociant

When one gets older you tend to look back at what you have accomplished, and one of the many things I look back at with pride is my involvement with the MAG. Read the Full Article

The Payments Bubble
By Mark Horwedel, CEO, Merchant Advisory Group

Economic “bubbles” have been much in the news in recent years. There's the Internet bubble, the mortgage bubble and now the student loan bubble. I'd like to suggest there is one more bubble which has yet to be called out, but is nevertheless pretty obvious to a handful of payments professionals who don't practice the art of denial or are not paid to cover up the obvious symptoms. It's the payments bubble. Read the Full Article

Why EMVCo Should Steer Clear of Mobile Commerce
By Liz Garner, Vice President, Merchant Advisory Group

EMVCo – the organization that brought EMV smart card technology to the United States – has come under a great deal of scrutiny recently, including a direct inquiry from Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL) about the structure of the organization, and the effectiveness and interoperability of their technology solutions. Read the Full Article

Contactless in Canada and Biometric Authentication
By Catherine Johnston, CEO, ACT Canada

Why is there so much contactless acceptance in Canada and how will biometric authentication impact you and your customers? Read the Full Article

Member Perspective
By Jim Esposito, Senior Director, Payments, Risk & Treasury, Etsy Inc.

My adventure with the MAG originally started in late 2008 when I was running Payments Operations at SUBWAY Restaurants. Read the Full Article

MAG Insights

The MAG publishes many whitepapers and press releases in the MAG Insights section of the website homepage. Make sure to visit the website often to view these important announcements.

Events and Education

MAG Educational Webinars

Join us June 21st for Streamlining Web Payments. For many users, Web purchases can be a frustrating experience, especially on mobile devices. Poor user experiences such as typing information again and again or following complex steps to payment lead all too often to error and high rates of cart abandonment.

W3C has begun to work on a standard API to help streamline checkout. This API will enable superior user experiences and enable merchants to take advantage of more secure payment methods to reduce liability and protect sensitive user information.

In this Webinar we will discuss the goals of this standards effort, the emerging architecture for the payment request API, and the anticipated impact on merchants and other e-Commerce players. We will also introduce other payment-related activites and discussions at W3C that will affect merchants and other stakeholders in the global payment ecosystem. Register Today!

View the 2016 MAG webinar schedule

Innovate Now

OMNI – Channel Payments for Merchants: Myth or Reality
By ACI Worldwide

ACI Worldwide and Payments Cards and Mobile released a new research report highlighting the journey merchants are taking when it comes to omni-channel payments. Read the Full Article

Visa Quick Chip and MasterCard M/Chip Fast - Overview and Effects
By Roger Applewhite, Vice President of Strategic Initiatives at MagTek, Inc., & Chief Operating Officer of MagTek's payment processing subsidiary, Magensa LLC

As with many processes governed both by standards and corporations, EMV, while ostensibly stable and predictable, has been subject to numerous changes as participants in its use have gained experience in real-world situations. Read the Full Article

Haven't upgraded to EMV yet? Think Omnichannel.
By Tommy Bush, SVP Business Development, Adyen

Now is a great time to think omnichannel, especially if you're already upgrading your payments infrastructure to support EMV. With an omnichannel payments infrastructure, you can support use cases such as endless aisles, click and collect, omnichannel returns, or omnichannel zero/one click purchases, and be ready for commerce of the future. Read the Full Article

You're Already Doing International Ecommerce and Paying for It
(and You May Not Even Know It)

By John Staple, Product Manager, First Data GlobalChoice™ Solutions

We will explore how this is possible, and what can be done to reduce the cost of doing business with international customers online, while simultaneously giving them a better customer experience. Read the Full Article

Also in this Issue
Supreme Court Decision
By Barrie VanBrackle, Partner, Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP & Merchant Advisory Group Legal Council

On May 16, 2016, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled in Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins that a plaintiff must show an injury in fact before pursuing a claim for violation of the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), a holding that may have repercussions for consumer plaintiffs pursuing claims under a wide variety of consumer protection statutes, including the Telephone Consumer Protection Act and future data breach claims. Read the Full Article
MAG Best Practices
MAG Best Practices are highly valued among MAG Members. In 2015 the MAG executed a survey on Interchange Optimization. The success of this survey was due to a dedicated task force comprised of MAG members and each member response to the survey and best practices submissions. If you have not utilized this resource, we encourage you to do so. Log into the MAG website and go to the Member Resources / Member Surveys and Best Practices. (You must be logged in to view.)
The MAG is On The Road
MAG CEO, Mark Horwedel and MAG Vice President, Liz Garner, have been representing the MAG at many industry events over the last several months:
  • Mark Horwedel
    • April 12-13: Discover Meeting, San Diego, Chicago, IL - Presenter
    • May 11-13: EuroFinance, Miami, FL - Panelist
    • May 23-26: CNP Expo, Orlando, FL - Panelist
    • June 7-8: Future of Payments, San Francisco, CA - Panelist
    • June 22-23: EMV NE 2016, Boston, MA
  • Liz Garner
    • April 12: Charlotte Federal Reserve - Business Advisory Council,
      Charlotte, NC - Speaker
    • May 3: Protect my Data, Washington, DC - Panelist
    • May 10-11: Mobile Payments Industry Working Group - Atlanta Fed,
      Atlanta, GA - Panelist
    • May 18: Information Security Media Group Fraud Summit,
      Washington, DC - Speaker
    • June 21-22: Fed Security Working Group - Chicago Fed, Chicago, IL
    • July 12: Wells Fargo Event, Chicago, IL - Panelist

Welcome MAG New Sponsors!
(Since 5/25/16)

Auriemma Consulting Group (ACG)

Auriemma Consulting Group (ACG) is one of the most recognized and respected boutique providers of advisory consulting services to the Payments, Lending, and Retail industries. Click here for more.

Buy It Mobility Networks (BIM)

BIM is a white-label payments and commerce platform that enables merchants to connect more effectively with their customers. When utilized as a direct debit offering, BIM lowers merchants' transaction costs by 50-95% compared to network-branded pricing. Click here for more.

Chargeback is an industry leader in Chargeback Monitoring, Responses and Alerts. Their solution offers the only chargeback dashboard and reporting tool that's already integrated with ecommerce platforms and payment gateways. Click here for more.

Oliver Wyman

Oliver Wyman is delighted to join the Merchant Advisory Group as a Gold Sponsor and participate in its multi-stakeholder collaboration to drive positive change in the payments industry. Click here for more.

View a complete listing of MAG Sponsors

Questions or comments? Contact the MAG at

Sponsor Press Releases

Questions or comments? Contact the MAG at

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