“Payments' Past and Future - A Celebration of Progress”

The MAG 2018 Annual Conference is less than a week away and once again we expect record attendance! Hear about industry progress, stakeholders' expectations for the future of payments, and help the MAG celebrate 10 years. With over 130 of the top merchant companies in attendance, this is an event you will not want to miss!

Online registration is now closed, but on-site registration will be available.

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*Subject to Change

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Use the MAG 2018 Annual Conference hashtags to help celebrate the Merchant Advisory Group's 10 Year Anniversary!

New MAG Board Chairman
By Troy Carrothers, Senior Vice President - Credit and Customer Service, Kohl's

As the Merchant Advisory Group (MAG) marks its tenth anniversary this year, it's an exciting time to be in the payments industry. And, it is with great pleasure and humility that I'm writing to you for the first time as the Chair of the MAG at this milestone moment. Read the Full Article

Cooperation is the Key to Changing Payments
By Mark Horwedel, CEO, Merchant Advisory Group

Merchants often ask what they can do to lower their cost of payment card acceptance. Read the Full Article

Reflecting on 20 years at Walmart
By John Drechny, President, Merchant Advisory Group

I am so excited for the opportunity and challenge to lead the MAG into the future. Read the Full Article

Dispute Processing Changes - How Have Merchants Fared?
By Laura Townsend, SVP Operations, Merchant Advisory Group

This year marks one in which payment networks have introduced changes to dispute processing with the intent to improve the dispute ecosystem for all stakeholders including merchants. How have merchants fared so far? Read the Full Article

FTC Focus on Competition and Consumer Protection; Fintech Firms
Allowed to Apply for Bank Charters; Concerns Over Cryptocurrency

By Beth Provenzano, VP Public Affairs, Merchant Advisory Group

Competition and innovation play an important role in the future of payments. Learn more about how policymakers are examining competition and the role they see innovation has moving forward. Read the Full Article

Share Your Passions and Expertise
By Kristy Cook, Director, Payment Acceptance Technology, Target Stores

As we celebrate 10 years as the MAG, member engagement has been a key to our success. With your help, the best is yet to come! Read the Full Article

Operations Quarterly Update - September 2018
By Laura Townsend, SVP Operations, Merchant Advisory Group

Operations News - “If you don't have a seat at the table, you're probably on the menu.”

The Operations and Digital Commerce Committees continue to focus on keeping ahead of industry initiatives that impact merchants, such as Visa Claims Resolution (VCR) and EMVCo's Secure Remote Commerce (SRC), and proactively providing merchant feedback to the payments ecosystem.

View the Operations Quarterly Update for this quarter's highlights and visit the Operations website for additional resources.

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.

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.

MAG Educational Webinars

Mark your calendars for September 26th when the MAG will present a MAG Webinar:

Tokenization Essentials - Understanding the Role of Tokens in Payment Processing Tokenization is used during payment processing to help protect sensitive payment account number (PAN) data and enable digital payment solutions. Not all tokens and their lifecycles are alike. Led by tokenization experts from First Data, attendees will learn about different types of tokens and their use cases, as well as the lifecycle and journey of tokens through the payments ecosystem. Considerations for retailers will be discussed with additional focus on remote, card-on-file and recurring payment transactions.

Register Today!

Check the MAG website for upcoming webinars in 2018.

PSD2 - The Changes and Opportunities Explained
By Charles Damen, SVP Product Strategy, Worldpay

PSD2 is set to shake up the payment sector, so how will that affect you as a merchant or marketplace? Worldpay and its PSD2 expert, Charles Damen, are here to guide you through the changes and opportunities PSD2 is set to bring. Read the Full Article

In The War on Data Breaches, Tokenization Can Help Merchants Fight Back
By Raoul Aranha, Head of Fraud, Security and Analytics, Bank of America Merchant Services

Merchants should consider tokenization as part of a multi-layered approach to combating fraud and data breaches. Providers can work with businesses to evaluate cost-benefits and any risks. Read the Full Article

A Guide to Visa and Mastercard's New Mandate for Stored Payment Credentials
By Suresh Dakshina, President and Founder, Chargeback Gurus

How Visa and Mastercard's new mandates for Stored-Credential transactions effect ecommerce merchants and what you need to do to ensure compliance. Read the Full Article
The MAG is On The Road
Mark Horwedel, CEO; John Drechny, President; Laura Townsend, SVP of Operations and Beth Provenzano, VP Public Affairs have been representing the MAG at many industry events over the last several months. Some future events on the horizon include:
  • John Drechny
    • October 2-3: Chicago Payments Forum; Chicago, IL
    • October 3-4: Federal Payments Improvement Meeting; Chicago, IL
    • October 21-24: Money 2020 USA; Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Mark Horwedel
    • October 23-25: Comcast Payments Council; Philadelphia, PA
  • Laura Townsend
    • October 10-12: NACHA Payments Innovation Alliance Meeting; Washington, DC
    • November 6-7: US Payments Forum; Oakbrook, IL
    • December 11-12: Federal Reserve Mobile Payment Working Group; Charlotte, NC


  • EG Retail (America), LLC
  • GameStop, Inc.

View a complete listing of MAG Members


SILVER Sponsor

BIM Networks is a mobile/web platform that leverages branded ACH offerings to drive merchant revenue, consumer engagement, and loyalty while simultaneously lowering transaction fees by 50-95%. These savings can be used to promote the merchant's brand and fund consumer incentives and loyalty program adoption. The consumer experience is fast, safe and convenient, enabling your customers to focus on the benefits of shopping with your brand. The API's that comprise our patented solutions are elegant in their simplicity, making it fast and painless for merchants to integrate BIM with any mobile wallet and online checkout page.

SILVER Sponsor

CITCON is a cross-border mobile payment and marketing solution leader, enabling merchants to accept QR-based mobile wallets in-store and online on a global scale. Among the payment options supported by CITCON, Alipay and WeChat Pay are two of the most popular wallets with over one billion active consumers. On top of payments, CITCON also allows merchants to run marketing and loyalty campaigns through our partner network. Trusted by thousands of merchants in North America and Europe, including DFS Group, Caesars Entertainment Group, Kering Group among others, CITCON offers solutions for businesses to drive omnichannel commerce growth in a variety of industries ranging from Retail, e-Commerce, Hotel, Food & Beverage, Transportation, Entertainment to Education. CITCON was Founded in 2015 by Chuck Huang, a serial entrepreneur and payment veteran with over a decade's experience in both US and China. For more information, please visit http://www.citcon.com/.

SILVER Sponsor

The World's First eCommerce Payment Management Company. We're more than a global payment gateway - we're a payment management company. CyberSource provides a complete portfolio of services that simplify and automate payment operations. Customers use our CyberSource and Authorize.Net brand solutions to process online payments, streamline fraud management, and simplify payment security.

Born during the dawn of eCommerce in 1994, CyberSource was one of the pioneers in online payment and fraud management services for medium and large-sized merchants. In 2007, we acquired the leading U.S. small business payment services provider, Authorize. Net, thus expanding our market footprint to cover businesses ranging from the smallest sole proprietorships to the largest global brands. In 2010 CyberSource was acquired by, and operates as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Visa Inc.

Today, over 400,000 businesses worldwide use CyberSource solutions. The company is headquartered in Foster City, California, with offices throughout Asia, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East and Africa, and the United States.


Elavon is a leading global provider of payment and gateway services to millions of customers. Elavon annually processes over three billion transactions, worth more than $300 billion. Backed by the stability of U.S. Bank, Elavon delivers flexible, secure and innovative solutions while providing value to their customer and partner relationships.

SILVER Sponsor

Through the Ethoca Network - the largest in the industry - we're closing the information gap between card issuers and merchants. This unique capability makes fraud and customer dispute insight available and actionable in real-time. Our suite of services delivers significant revenue growth and cost saving opportunities for thousands of merchants and hundreds of issuers across the globe. This includes the world's biggest ecommerce brands and largest banks.


The Electronic Payments Association is the steward of the ACH Network, one of the largest and most reliable payment networks in the world. We develop tools for merchants like our Direct Deposit App, and offer consultative services through our Elevation consulting group.

View a complete listing of MAG Sponsors

Sponsor Press Releases

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

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