The MAG 2017 Annual Conference
“The Blurred Lines of Connected Commerce”
Online Registration Opens Thursday, June 8th

The 2017 MAG Annual Conference, “The Blurred Lines of Connected Commerce” will be held September 27-29 at the Hilton Bonnet Creek in Orlando, FL.

Customer expectations of the shopping experience continue to evolve. The lines are blurring as to where the shopping experience begins and ends. Anymore, the customer expects the shopping experience to be unique to them on terms they choose - whenever they want, wherever they are, and on any personal device convenient for them. Also, payment is more of a supporting role or even acts as a silent partner while convenience, value, loyalty, and promotions truly drive consumer buying behavior. Connected commerce can enable new and innovative retail service models that offer convenience to the customer and new revenue streams for retailers. Emerging players, tools, and technologies in the marketplace are the enablers. Yet, the U.S. seems to be lagging behind other markets to take full advantage of this opportunity. Plan now to attend!

MAG members receive three complimentary registrations.

With over 100 of the top merchant companies in attendance, the conference will feature sessions covering:

  • Keynote Address: Craig Vosburg (President of North America, MasterCard)
  • Payments 101: An Overview of US Payment Network
  • Payments 201: Advanced Payments
  • Merchant Only Special Interest Groups
  • Digital Commerce
  • US Common AID
  • Fraud mitigation
  • Legal and Legislative updates

Mark your calendars for June 8th to register on the MAG Website for this important payment event!

Why Big Banks Shouldn't Own the Road to Faster Payments
By Mark Horwedel, CEO, Merchant Advisory Group

The same U.S. banks that have retarded progress in digital payments shouldn't be entrusted with anything approaching a monopoly on implementing real-time payments systems, says Mark Horwedel. Read the Full Article

Reflection on the MAG's Advocacy Role
By Liz Garner, Former SVP, Policy & Public Affairs, Merchant Advisory Group

When people think about the terms “Advocacy” and “Lobbying” too often they associate them with the backrooms and dealings of Washington, D.C. That, however, is a far cry from reality. Read the Full Article

Groundhog's Day
By Laura Townsend, SVP, Operations, Merchant Advisory Group

If we want to stop Groundhog's Day, the payments industry needs to leverage open, consensus-based standards which fosters increased market competition that results in growth and innovation of creative payment solutions. Until then, the past will be the predictor of the future. Read the Full Article

Mobile Wallets - Where Are We Now?
By Bryan Penny, VP Payments and New Markets, Nordstrom

With digital as the focus of this quarter's newsletter, the big elephant in the room is “why aren't we all paying with mobile wallets now?” Read the Full Article

Australia Payments Update - Regulatory Reforms and Merchant Routing
By Dhun Karai, Partner - Payments Advisory, Grant Thornton

The challenge for merchants globally is to have the tools available to strengthen their contract negotiating power with the card networks and processing banks that are significantly bigger than all but a few merchants. Read the Full Article

MAG Membership is Growing
By Kari Hartley, Director of Member Services, Merchant Advisory Group

The Merchant Advisory Group's finely-tuned focus on driving positive change and advocating for merchant's interests continues to draw new members. The MAG has 126 members as of June 2017 which is a 30% increase from just two years ago! 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

Mark your calendars for June 14th when the MAG will present a webinar on Trends in Chargebacks and Fraud.
Moderator: Jim DuBoyce (W. Capra Consulting Group)
Presenters: June Compton (Heartland Payment Systems),
Monica Eaton-Cardone (Chargebacks911), and
John Valencia (REI CO-OP)

Register Today!

View the 2017 MAG webinar schedule

The Truth about False Positives
By Alasdair Rambaud, Senior Vice President Merchant Services, CardinalCommerce

Card-Not-Present Merchants worry about fraud, but should be just as worried about false positives! Merchants are walking a fine line: should they accept a sale that might be fraudulent, or should they turn down a sale that might be legitimate? That's the $43 billion-dollar question. Read the Full Article

What Is Common Debit AID and Why Does It Matter?
By Allen Friedman, Vice President of Payment Solutions, Ingenico Group North America

The U.S. may have the most complex point of sale (POS) debit payment system in the world, and the migration to EMV has made it more confusing for many merchants. Common AID was created to simplify this for merchants, but it's important that they fully understand what it means for their business and their customers. Read the Full Article

Why is it So Complex to Reconcile Interchange Fees? Can Analytics help?
By Michael D. Lenihan, Senior Advisor, Optimized Payments Consulting

How does your company stack up against best-practices and costs of card based sales? Payments analytics provides clarity, understanding, and helps reduce fees more easily and faster. Like anything, if you can't measure it, you cannot improve it. Read the Full Article

The MAG is On The Road
MAG CEO, Mark Horwedel; and Laura Townsend, SVP of Operations, have represented the MAG at many industry events over the last several months and have future event appearances planned.
  • Mark Horwedel
    • April 11-13: FIS Conference; Orlando, FL
    • April 23-27: Conexxus Annual Conference; Annapolis, MD
    • May 3-5: Chicago GED Meeting; Chicago, IL
    • May 8-10: Card Forum Conference; Austin, TX
    • September 12-15: Payments International; London
  • Laura Townsend
    • April 18-19: X9 CNP Fraud Mitigation TR Workshop; Atlanta, GA
    • May 1-3: ACT Canada, CardWare; Niagara Falls, Canada
    • June 21-22: US Payments Forum; Phoenix, AZ
    • July 11-12: Wells Fargo 2017 Retail Summit; Chicago, IL

Welcome New Members
  • Dominos
  • HMS Host
  • PC Richard & Son
  • The Cheesecake Factory
  • Ruby Tuesday
  • Sirius XM
  • Verizon
  • Vistana Signature Experience
View a complete listing of MAG Members 

SILVER Sponsor

Accertify, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of American Express, is a leading provider of fraud prevention, chargeback management, and payment gateway solutions to merchant customers spanning diverse industries worldwide. Accertify's suite of products and services help e-commerce companies grow their business by driving down the total cost of fraud, simplifying business processes, and ultimately increasing revenue. To complement these solutions, Accertify also offers its customers a best-in-breed portfolio of support, professional, and managed services that empower companies to focus on growing their business, rather than on the underlying technology of their e-commerce systems.

SILVER Sponsor
Sionic Mobile

Cloud-based mobile commerce company, providing white-label mobile pay and loyalty applications to partners and clients, delivering rewards, savings and perks to millions of mobile consumers. The award-winning ION Commerce Engine™ (ICE) and GeoSense® iBeacon network drives incremental new volume for merchants and more frequent app use for partners. The ICE platform features IBM Watson Analytics for partners and enterprise retailers and Watson Cognitive Commerce for personalized consumer experiences. The Company operates the nation's fastest growing Mobile Rewards Marketplace™, comprised of large chain retailers and small businesses. Merchants pay a small success fee when mobile customers pay with their app.

SILVER Sponsor
True Group, Inc.

True Group, Inc. is a certified Female Business Enterprise which brings transformative technology solutions to our clients both locally and nationally. Through our proprietary flyby™ and Praxis™ service offerings, we deliver solutions around:

  • Consumer Engagement
  • Payments Strategy and Operations
  • IoT Enablement
  • Digital Platforms

Our motto “We Advise. We Train. We Do.” highlights our capabilities to deliver the right solutions for the needs of our clients. Whether we are defining strategic road maps, implementing a transformational Training Program, or providing value-centric Managed Services, True takes pride in providing simple and integrated solutions for our clients and partners.

View a complete listing of MAG Sponsors

Sponsor Press Releases
    ACI Worldwide:
    • ACI commissioned interviews with 30 leading retailers in the US, UK, France and Germany - to explore how they are navigating a fast-changing payments landscape. Senior executives address the challenges they face in enabling new payment preferences, ensuring the security of those payments and combining payments systems to deliver a consistent customer experience.

      Read the “The Role of Payments in the Customer Experience” report for retailer insights and expert ACI commentary on enabling seamless shopper journeys, choosing the right payment technologies and consolidating payment platforms.

      View “The Journey of a Payment” from ACI Worldwide to see why leveraging customer payment preferences helps win and keep your online and omni-channel customers coming back for more.

      Devices, devices everywhere! Read about the growing challenge of terminal management for merchants. New ACI Worldwide blog highlights reduced compliance burdens with estate management solutions.

      Aite and ACI Worldwide's new global fraud study titled, Global Consumer Survey: Consumer Trust & Security Considerations, reveals that only 43% of global consumers trust businesses, including restaurants and merchants, to protect their financial data, while more than 80% of global consumers believe their mobile data is secure.

Questions or comments? Contact the MAG at

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