Earlier this week we announced several leadership changes here at the MAG that will take place over the next six months. After leading the MAG as chief executive officer for the past seven years, Mark Horwedel will step down at the end of 2018. We thank Mark for all that he has done to foster collaborative relationships across the payments industry and to grow the MAG into a valuable resource with a unified voice.

We also announced that John Drechny, currently senior director of payment services at Walmart, Inc. and MAG board chair, will join the MAG as President, effective July 30. John will work closely with Mark to ensure a smooth transition in preparation to step in the CEO role on Jan. 1, 2019.

The MAG Board of Directors elected Troy Carrothers to fill the chair role upon Drechny's resignation as chair of the MAG board on June 15. Carrothers, a senior vice president with Kohl's Department Stores, Inc. has served on the MAG board for four years, with two of those years serving as Vice Chair.

Full details of the announcement regarding the leadership changes were sent to members, sponsors, friends of the MAG and media on June 5. Read the Full News Release

“Payments Past and Future - A Celebration of Progress”
Online Registration Opens June 12

The MAG is 10 years young and we have only just begun. Come celebrate a little history, hear about industry progress, and stakeholder expectations for the future of payments. The one constant in payments is change and evolution which MAG fosters in its fight for a better tomorrow. With over 130 of the top merchant companies in attendance, this is an event you will not want to miss! Plan now to attend!

  • MAG members receive three complimentary registrations
  • MAG sponsors receive complimentary registrations and marketing opportunities based on their level of sponsorship
  • Two and a half days of pure payments knowledge with the best in the industry. The Merchant Only session is something you don't want to miss!

*View Conference Agenda
*Subject to Change

Interested in Exhibiting and/or Sponsoring?
*Must be a current MAG Annual Sponsor in good standing to take advantage of these opportunities.

An Update on the Federal Reserve Efforts in the Payment Space
By John Drechny, Senior Director of Payment Services, Walmart

The Federal Reserve has endeavored to pull together all of the stakeholder groups in the payment industry to solve two issues: how to launch a faster payment system and what needs to be done to lower fraud risk in payments. Read the Full Article

Payments Innovators Deserve Merchant Support
By Mark Horwedel, CEO, Merchant Advisory Group

Almost suddenly, the world seems ablaze with payments innovation; however, the U.S. continues to fall further behind. ACH and cryptocurrency may provide rays of hope for the lagging U.S. market. Read the Full Article

A Paradigm Shift in Payments - A Future the Industry Should Demand for Digital
By Laura Townsend, SVP, Operations, Merchant Advisory Group

As consumers continue to leverage digital channels more often for transacting, there has been a sense of optimism that the paradigm in payments could shift to one that fosters increased competition and innovation coming from new technology players offering creative consumer experiences that enhance overall retail commerce. In recent weeks, if has become unclear if that paradigm shift will be challenged in light of new remote commerce framework being introduced by the global payment networks. Read the Full Article

As Congressional Retirement Accouncements Continue, Election Season Kicks Off
By Beth Provenzano, VP Public Affairs, Merchant Advisory Group

The mid-term elections are looming. It's too early to tell how it will shake out, but one thing is clear. The House will have a new Speaker. Read the Full Article

Behind the Scenes
By Dee O'Malley, Vice President, Financial Services, Best Buy

Twice a year, the MAG merchant members, sponsors, and various payment stakeholders get together at the Mid-Year and Annual MAG conferences to participate in a vast number of payment topics spread throughout a multi-day agenda. Read the Full Article

A Decade of Growth and Fuel for Much More
By Kari Hartley, Director of Member & Administrative Services, Merchant Advisory Group

James Cash Penny is famous for having said “Growth is never by mere chance; it is the result of forces working together.” As the MAG reflects on it's 10th Anniversary, there's no doubt that “growth” has been an essential element of the MAG's success. Read the Full Article

Merchant Advisory Group - Member Perspective: The Benefits of Collaboration in the Payments Ecosystem
By Brian Mullins, Head of Risk Operations; Chris Sweetland, Head of Industry and Payments Partnerships; Jon Amadei, Strategic Risk Partnerships, Square, Inc.

As one of the newest members of the MAG, we're thrilled to be part of a community focused on leveraging collaboration and advocacy in support of merchants nationwide. Read the Full Article

By Laura Townsend, SVP, Operations, Merchant Advisory Group

The Operations and Digital Commerce Committees were busy this quarter, with a focus on ensuring the networks heard merchants' perspectives for new industry initiatives such as Visa Claims Resolution (VCR), 3D Secure, and EMVCo's Secure Remote Commerce (SRC).

We are compiling FAQ's for “no signature” and have targeted split shipments as our initial effort to improve consistency across networks by identifying best practice processes and rules. Visit the Operations website for an overview of our efforts as well as additional resources provided by the networks.

Please contact us if you want to share your expertise and help drive progress on the Network Best Practices by joining the Operations or Digital Commerce Committees.

View Operations Quarterly Update for June 2018

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.

Mark your calendars for the following upcoming webinar offerings:

June 11th: U.S. Faster Payments Council
The Fed is requesting input from industry stakeholders regarding a governance framework for a new organization to be named the “U.S. Faster Payments Council.” This organization is the next phase of the former Faster Payments Task Force and its goal is to “develop a faster payments governance framework, inclusive of all stakeholders, to make decisions to facilitate interoperability and achieve ubiquity of faster payments in 2020, as well as navigate future challenges as technology and end-user needs evolve.” The feedback window closes June 22, 2018.
Register Today!

June 27th: Best Practices in Evaluating Modern Payment Systems
Hear from the “other side” of your company's technology decision! During this presentation, we'll share best practices from efforts to evaluate and implement new payments technologies. How do interdisciplinary teams, at times with competing interests, come together to make the right forward-looking decision? We'll also talk about what should be part of your evaluation criteria to ensure you are well positioned for future changes in the payments landscape.
Register Today!

Check the MAG website for upcoming webinars in 2018.

It's a Small, Small World
By Brian Frey, VP, Global Currency Solutions, First Data

As business continues to expand around the globe, I often reflect back on a single Disney song from 1962 that allowed us to peer into the future. Shortly after the Cuban missile crisis, The Sherman Brothers wrote the song “It's a Small World (After All).” Read the Full Article

GDPR - What Merchants Need to Know
By Brian Gaynor, Executive Director for Product Solutions in Europe, J.P. Morgan

By now most organizations have heard of the European Union's (EU's) General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which came into force in May 2018. The new legislation establishes guidelines on how companies should handle customer privacy, store data securely, and respond to security breaches. Businesses across the EU (or who have dealings with EU companies) have been working hard to change their practices and get GDPR compliant. Read the Full Article

The road to PSD2 - Reducing Fraud and Protecting the Customer Experience
By Brian Gaynor, Executive Director for Product Solutions in Europe, J.P. Morgan

As the shopping experience increasingly shifts online, organizations across the payment space are under greater pressure than ever to reduce fraud while making sure transactions remain as easy as possible. A new European Union initiative - the Second Payment Services Directive (PSD2) - is designed specifically for this purpose and lays out a framework so that companies can both protect customers, whilst also providing the best possible shopping experience. Read the Full Article

Introducing CMSPI's Spring 2018 edition of Payments Intelligence, the quarterly publication bringing you payments opinion and insight from across the globe. This edition's theme is international cooperation in the payments industry - articles featured in this edition include:

  • An introduction to the International Payments Regulation Forum
  • Why Global Interchange Regulation Needs an Overhaul
  • Regulatory Reform is About More Than Just Fees

So many of the issues we've talked about in Payments Intelligence over the last few years are global rather than regional, but worryingly, there is very little dialogue between countries and some jurisdictions are far more effective at deadling with these issues than others. So why isn't the merchant community sharing successes and failures across borders? In this edition, we investigate why this isn't happening, why it's important that it should, and how CMSPI will encourage this going forward.

Now That My Business is EMV® Chip Card Capable, What Else do I Have to Worry About? - Why Fighting Cybercriminals Often Feels Like a Game of 'Whac-A-Mole'
By Larry Brenna, Senior Vice President, Merchant Data Security and Cybersecurity Director, Bank of America Merchant Services

EMV® (Europay, Mastercard and Visa) chip technology1 is a powerful step forward in protecting against credit card fraud. Unlike data contained on a magnetic stripe - which, once stolen, can be used over and over - the EMV chip's unique transaction code for each use makes it highly secure for in-person purchases. Read the Full Article

Bigger-Ticket Items Require Bigger Capabilities
By Joe Ferguson, Director of New Business Development, Fortiva Retail Credit

Customers are more discerning when deciding where to buy big-ticket items, so retailers with strategies in place to make the purchasing process seamless and effectively inform and engage shoppers across channels have an advantage. This includes consumer financing options for customers across the credit spectrum and new technology that enhances the customer experience and integrates a flexible credit program. Read the Full Article

Leveraging Payments to Enhance Your Business Model
By Pat Behrens, Consultant, W. Capra Consulting Group

The subscription-based business model offers clear advantages, and many merchants may be overlooking opportunities for their business to grow in this space. Companies like Netflix and Hulu naturally lean toward a subscription revenue model, but less obvious products have found their way into the subscription space as well. Read the Full Article
The MAG is On The Road
MAG CEO, Mark Horwedel and Laura Townsend, SVP of Operations have been representing the MAG at many industry events over the last several months. Some future events on the horizon include:
  • Mark Horwedel
    • June 4-6, 2018: Money 20/20; Amsterdam
    • June 18-20, 2018: VISA Payments Forum; Washington DC
    • July 18-19, 2018: Retail Summit 2018; Chicago, IL
  • Laura Townsend
    • June 20-21, 2018: EMVCo; San Diego, CA
    • July 11-12, 2018: US Payments Forum; San Francisco, CA
    • August 12-14, 2018: MOSAIC 20th Annual Technology Leadership Forum; Vail, CO
    • August 21, 2018: Mobile Payment Conference Mobile Wallet Workshop; Chicago, IL
    • August 22-24, 2018: Mobile Payments Conference; Chicago, IL
    • October 21-24, 2018: Money 2020 USA; Las Vegas, Nevada
    • November 6-7, 2018: US Payments Forum; Oakbrook, IL


We provide flexible and innovative credit card and payment solutions for over 21 million personal and business customers all over the world. Our personal customers can use their credit cards in over 27 million outlets worldwide and we are striving to deliver to them the next generation of digital and mobile phone-based payment services. Business and corporate customers large and small also trust Barclays every day to enable them to make and take payments from customers in face-to-face and online/digital environments.

SILVER Sponsor

Chargeback Gurus helps businesses fight and win up to 70% of chargebacks and prevent up to 50% of chargebacks before they happen.

SILVER Sponsor

Google makes hundreds of products used by billions of people across the globe, from YouTube and Chrome to Android Pay, and, of course, Google Search. Keeping with the company's core principle of searching for better answers, Google Pay seeks to empower both people and commerce by providing the tools for effortless, secure payment transactions, no matter the medium. Through Google Pay, we hope to make transactions easier for everyone, drive meaningful results for our partners and create a better experience for their customers online, in store and across new surfaces like Assistant.

SILVER Sponsor

Founded in 1990, with 1000+ employees worldwide and its US headquarters in Raleigh, NC, GK Software (GK) is a global leader in store systems and solutions. GK is a leading provider of electronic payments solutions for North America, featuring the TransAction+ (T+) suite of products complemented by enterprise development and implementation services.


Fueled by a fundamental belief that having access to financial services creates opportunity, PayPal is committed to democratizing financial services and empowering people and businesses to join and thrive in the global economy. Our open digital payments platform gives PayPal's 227 million active account holders the confidence to connect and transact in new and powerful ways, whether they are online, on a mobile device, in an app, or in person. Through a combination of technological innovation and strategic partnerships, PayPal creates better ways to manage and move money, and offers choice and flexibility when sending payments, paying or getting paid.

SILVER Sponsor

Rambus latest offering, Unified Payment Platform, enables retailers to digitize credit cards, gift cards, loyalty points and coupons into a single secure mobile wallet, creating a frictionless shopping experience for consumers and merchants. From Host Card Emulation (HCE) and tokenization, to empowering organizations to become their own Token Service Provider (TSP), Rambus software, provides a comprehensive, mobile payment solution to banks and retailers worldwide that loads and manages payment credentials on NFC-based smartphones and connected devices. Our products are integrated into tens of billions of devices and systems, powering and securing diverse applications, including Big Data, Internet of Things (IoT), mobile, consumer and media platforms.


Wells Fargo Merchant Services provides card processing capabilities to accept all major credit cards, debit cards and digital payments so businesses can spend less time managing card operations and focus on their strategic goals. We provide access to a dedicated team of payment experts, technology specialists and merchant advocates who can help companies navigate the card ecosystem with confidence - all backed by the latest receivables technology and the broader resources of a leading global bank. Wells Fargo Merchant Services delivers state-of-the-art fraud management and offers next business day funding for optimized cash flow and working capital. Learn more here: https://www.wellsfargo.com/com/treasury-management/receivables/merchant/.

View a complete listing of MAG Sponsors

Sponsor Press Releases

Questions or comments? Contact the MAG at info@merchantadvisorygroup.org.

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