MAG 2019 Mid-Year Conference - Register Today!

Invite your team and attend one of the top payment conferences of the year! The MAG Mid-Year Conference brings together all key stakeholders in the payments ecosystem and will focus on the following topics: Mobile Payments Adoption, Routing, Fraud, Online Payment Options. MYC19 will feature sponsor breakout sessions, as well as the ever-popular merchant only round table discussions (SIG). Hear from the top retailers in the U.S. along with industry experts, including debit networks, who will discuss the current issues affecting retailers today. We're looking forward to informal, lively discussions; so please come prepared with your thoughts and ideas.

*View Conference Agenda
*Subject to Change

Time to Renew Your MAG Membership for 2019!
It remains an active time in the payments industry, and we want you to continue to stay informed of industry happenings. There are many valuable benefits you receive as a MAG member. Earlier this week, each primary merchant member received an email containing the MAG 2019 membership dues renewal along with the 2018 Annual Report outlining the various MAG happenings over this past year. Thank you for your continued support of the MAG.

The MAG 2018-2019 Board of Directors Election took place in August, and the results were announced during the Merchant Only Session at the 2018 Annual Conference in September. The voting resulted in the following re-elected candidates: Alok Mathur (Hughes Network Systems, LLC), Bryan Penny (Nordstrom); Dean Sheaffer (Boscov's Department Stores), Kelly Andrus (Andeavor), and newly elected member Denis Bouchard (The Wendy's Company). We also thank out-going board member, Gavin Waugh (The Wendy's Company), for his service the past four years. We welcome Denis to the board and thank those that were re-elected for your continued leadership and dedication to the MAG. View MAG Board of Directors.

The MAG 2018 Annual Conference Continues to Grow and Break Records!
The MAG 2018 Annual Conference was a huge success with over 600 attendees and 250 merchant attendees representing MAG members and guest merchants. We celebrated our 10th anniversary and had record attendance! We hope you walked away with timely knowledge and made valuable connections in the payments industry.

As an added benefit to MAG members, we are providing a conference summary for your internal use. The MAG produces the conference summary to provide insight to what MAG members are talking about, what they are advocating for, and what information you will be able to bring back to your organization.

Other conference related materials including attendee lists, presentations, SIG reports and conference photos can be found on the Annual Conference page of the MAG website.

Please note that some of the annual conference materials require a login. Please contact the MAG Staff if you need assistance with your login.

A Year in Review
By Troy Carrothers, Senior Vice President, Kohl's Department Stores, Inc.

The MAG celebrated its 10th anniversary and the beginning of a new era this year. Our membership has continued to grow as well, now including more than 140 merchants with nearly 1,000,000 physical locations across the U.S. and online. Read the Full Article

The US is Fast Becoming a Third-World Country in Payments
By Mark Horwedel, CEO, Merchant Advisory Group

The United States payments system is falling behind many other countries. Innovation provides the opportunity to inject competition into the U.S. payments system, but will stakeholders and regulators make the necessary changes to allow that to happen? Read the Full Article

Educating the Technologist in the Payment Space
By John Drechny, President, Merchant Advisory Group

For many years the technology around payment acceptance was stagnant, with the use of mag stripe as the primary form of authorization for decades. Read the Full Article

The Rush to Implementation - Who Benefits?
By Laura Townsend, SVP Operations, Merchant Advisory Group

We have seen a number of new payment products, solutions and initiatives either announced or commercialized in 2018, including Visa Claims Resolution, MasterCom Claims Manager, Secure Remote Commerce, EMV 3DS (ie. 2.0), and 3DS related compliance programs to name just a few. What is the merchant sentiment when it comes to these new offerings? Read the Full Article

A Divided Government When the New Congress Convenes in 2019; Action at Federal Agencies
By Beth Provenzano, VP Public Affairs, Merchant Advisory Group

Democrats picked up enough seats in the mid-term elections to take back the majority of the House of Representatives. While they will kick off the new Congress focused on their investigative and oversight authority, Republicans kept the majority in the Senate, paving the way for more judicial confirmations next year. Read the Full Article

Records are Meant to be Broken
By Kari Hartley, Director of Member & Administrative Services, Merchant Advisory Group

I never get tired of talking about the exciting pace of the MAG's growth! As 2018 draws to a close we reflect on another year of robust membership growth and accomplishments topped off by our wonderful 10th anniversary celebration.

In 2018, we welcomed 18 new merchants, putting our membership at 142 merchant members, an 11% increase from 2017. MAG members are an engaged and highly collaborative group. Your continued willingness to share your expertise with each other through our many educational programs and networking opportunities help all merchants to infuse positive change into the payment's ecosystem. Read the Full Article

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.”
By Laura Townsend, SVP Operations, Merchant Advisory Group

The Operations and Digital Commerce Committees continue to push for transparency and merchant choice on key industry initiatives. The MAG has upgraded our EMVCo membership to the Business Associate level to better provide input to specifications including EMVCo's Secure Remote Commerce (SRC).

View the Operations Quarterly Update to see the progress we're making on Operations & Digital Commerce priorities 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 December 6th when the MAG will present a MAG Webinar:

MAG Town Hall Discussion - Strategic Plans for 2019
Join the MAG for a Town Hall discussion where Mark Horwedel, MAG CEO, and John Drechny, MAG President, will discuss developments in the payments industry, status of key 2018 initiatives, and strategic MAG initiatives planned for 2019.

Register Today!

Check the MAG website for upcoming webinars in 2019.

European Payment Market - Regulation as a Catalyst to Drive Innovation?
By Robert Herzig, Director Customer Payments & Finance, Corporate Treasury, METRO

European market regulations for payment services and prices created a single Euro payments area with new players and services. The transformation to strong customer authentication is bringing new challenges to the involved parties. Read the Full Article

Why are There So Many Companies to Handle Chargebacks?
By Dean Sheaffer, SVP Financial Services/Chief Compliance Officer, Boscov's

In our industry, many companies and products exist to handle various processes related to fraud and chargebacks. Why is that? Read the Full Article

Report Urges New Fraud Management Solutions as Global Card Fraud Patterns Shift

Merchant Advisory Group (MAG) and CMSPI launch retail payments fraud investigation, with support from Fiserv. Read the Full Article

Key Takeaways from the 2018 MAG Merchant Poll
By Samuel Schieber, W. Capra Consulting Group

Merchants share their attention to mobile, security and EMV in annual MAG Merchant Poll. Read the Full Article

Forecasting 2019 Payment Trends Based on Consumer and Merchant Feedback
By Joe Ferguson, Fortiva Retail Credit

As retailers respond to customers' evolving demands for a great omnichannel experience at every point of the shopping journey, tech-savvy payment vendors and innovative fintech providers will continue evolving in 2019 to make it easy for merchants to provide a personalized customer experience, including more POS financing approvals for customers across the credit spectrum with frictionless, simple applications. Fortiva Retail Credit's Joe Ferguson, along with input from Robert Mau from the payment practice of consulting firm Oliver Wyman, highlight the trends that will empower credit payments to move quicker and more effectively across mobile, web and all other channels the customer will engage. Read the Full Article

Prevent Online Fraud & Maximize Revenue This Holiday Season
Brian Radford, Director of Marketing, Chargeback Gurus

Online fraud is a significant and growing threat for businesses, especially during peak holiday season, when merchants can face up to three times more fraud than normal. This can be devastating to your bottom line, business reputation and can even hurt your customers. That's why prevention is so important. 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, represent the MAG at industry events. Future events on the horizon include:
  • Laura Townsend
    • December 11-12: Federal Reserve Mobile Payment Working Group; Charlotte, NC


  • Compass Group
  • Thorntons Inc.
  • CEFCO Convenience Stores

View a complete listing of MAG Members


Platinum Sponsor

NCR Corporation is a leader in banking and commerce solutions, powering incredible experiences that make life easier. With its software, hardware, and portfolio of services, NCR enables 760 million transactions daily across financial, retail, hospitality, travel, telecom and technology industries.

View a complete listing of MAG Sponsors

Sponsor Press Releases

Questions or comments? Contact the MAG at

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