MAG 2016 Mid-Year Conference Registration Now Open!


Today’s payments landscape features several prominent examples of collaboration between merchants and financial institutions. Cobranded cards, specialized networks and mobile offerings are just a few examples. As attention to global electronic commerce becomes more pronounced and stratified, we anticipate the need for greater cooperation leading to better customer experiences and better fraud control. Join us as we hear from payments experts focused on the need for collaboration and from some of the key players at merchants and financial institutions already engaged in collaborative efforts. Don’t miss this event!

*View Conference Agenda
*Subject to Change

Why the MAG Supports Open Payments Standards
By Mark Horwedel, Merchant Advisory Group

Since the inception of the payments card business market participants and stakeholders have worked together to develop interoperable standards. Typically, their efforts were facilitated by ISO, the International Standards Organization, and the over 160 individual standards bodies of the countries that roll up to ISO. “ISO Standards are developed through a multi-stakeholder process” and are based on consensus from all stakeholders. Read the Full Article

What's Up in Washington: The State of EMV in DC
By Liz Garner, Merchant Advisory Group

As we all expected, the October 1 EMV liability shift deadline came and went without the sky falling.  And while that is no surprise to many of us in the payments industry, there was a great deal of consternation as to how Washington would react to the entire event. Read the Full Article

Don't Fear the Merchant Statement
By Dean Sheaffer, Boscov's Department Store LLC

A colleague and I were recently discussing a paper statement I received from my processor that detailed all the fees associated with cost of acceptance for the month.  Curious about the details, I had decided to open it and take a look. Read the Full Article

Call for Task Force Participation: Best Practices Surveys

The MAG is producing a series of best practice surveys that provides members with timely and valuable information on important payments topics.  Based on feedback, the members have found incredible value in the best practices information that has been distributed and published thus far.

The next two Best Practice Surveys will be on Transaction Security then Least Cost Routing with Transaction Security being the first priority. 

  • Transaction Security Survey Goal:  This survey will ultimately provide best practices with respect to protecting sensitive data including tokenization and encryption.
  • Least Cost Routing Survey Goal:  This survey will identify best practices with respect to Durbin debit routing.
  • Time Commitment:  We estimate approximately 5-6 hours of your time total for each individual best practice.

We have learned that MAG members who become more engaged in MAG activities find great benefits in networking and education by simply being more involved.  We hope you will consider joining one of Best Practice Survey task forces. If you are interested in participating, please send your contact information to Kari Hartley by January 1, 2016. 

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.

New Resources for Members

The CyberRisk Hub® UPDATE

In September, the MAG launched a new resource for MAG members, the CyberRiskHub®. Members can view a brief webinar on how to register to utilize this resource as well as hear from a breach expert on how to prepare and prevent a breach. Read the Full Article

The MAG's 2015 Year At-A-Glance

The MAG had many accomplishments in 2015 that directly impacted the payments industry.We appreciate the collaboration with members and sponsors to bring awareness and education to those in the payments industry.  14 new members and 5 new sponsors joined the MAG in 2015. This report can also be found on the MAG wesbite. View the 2015 MAG Annual Report

Thank you to everyone involved in these efforts.  We look forward to successful 2016.

Member Perspective — MAG Best Practice Survey on Interchange
By Greg Pellegrino, Phillips 66

Interchange is our biggest spend.  And that makes it the biggest opportunity we have to continue to squeeze costs out of our business.  Lessons learned from the MAG interchange survey are helping us improve our business and shape plans for 2016. Read the Full Article

Small Merchants Are Not To Be Forgotten
By Robert O. Carr, Heartland Payment Systems

Many of the large merchants that MAG represents have already made the shift to accepting chip-enabled credit cards well in advance of this past October’s Europay, MasterCard, and Visa (EMV) liability shift deadline. For those who have, I know you would agree that implementing EMV was both a major effort and distraction for your respective organization. However, many small merchants have yet to start down the EMV journey. Read the Full Article

The U.S. Common Debit AID is Your Best Option
By Ignacio Blanco, Vice President Network Products

Merchants can still maintain their routing choice and flexibility in an EMV environment. Click on the below link for a perspective on how to achieve this. Read the Full Article

Is it Time to Strip the Fed of its Regulatory Responsibility for Card Interchange?
By Alistair Combes, CMS Payments Intelligence

Flawed implementation, processor absorption, and network fees combine to wipe out Durbin benefits for many merchants - is the Fed conflicted? Read the Full Article

Maximizing Your Choice in Contactless Payments
By Terry Dooley, Shazam

There’s been a tremendous amount of discussion surrounding EMV and the common AID, and rightfully so. In a highly competitive marketplace of more than eight million merchants and 17,000 financial institutions, multiple stakeholders collaborated to create a solution that helped maintain competition, routing choice and compliance with Regulation II. Read the Full Article

Making Authorizations Reversals Work for Merchants
By Arturo Martinez, Visa. Inc.

Authorizations are a key part of any sale, giving merchants the ability to identify if funds are available to complete a transaction. With each successful authorization, the amount available for other purchases is reduced to cover the approved sale until it is settled with the cardholder’s bank. Read the Full Article
Payment Card Industry Fraud
By Mimi Hart, MAGTEK

It’s time to address the root cause of Payment Card Industry fraud.  How does an inexpensive, PAN-free, one-time token generating card sound as an alternative to incumbent-only token solutions? Read the Full Article

AnyWhereMobile™ Revolutionary Private-Label Payments
By Jacqueline Snell, mSHIFT

With AnyWhereMobile, merchants can offer private-label cardless payments to their customers that come with guaranteed good funds, reduced fraud and lower associated costs.  The AnyWhereMobile Payment Network enables merchants to set up electronic private-label debit and credit cardless payments for in-store, online, in-app and gift card purchases. Read the Full Article


MAG 2015 Annual Conference A Big Success!

The 2015 MAG Annual Conference was held September 22-24 at the Hyatt Regency in San Antonio, Texas. It was the largest MAG Annual Conference to date with almost 350 attendees and over 160 merchant attendees representing over 80 merchant companies. The theme was “Tomorrowland-The Future of Payments.”  All of the conference education presentations are available in the Members Only area of the website. Once logged in, click on Use Our Resources, Member Resources, Conferences, 2015 Annual Conference Presentations and Polling Results. The SIG reports can also be found in this area.

2016 Board Election Results

The 2016 MAG board elections were held during the Annual Membership Meeting on September 24th at the Hyatt Regency hotel in San Antonio, TX. Maureen Elworthy, Ahold; Alok Mathur, Hughes Network Systems; Dean Sheaffer, Boscov’s Department Stores and Gavin Waugh, The Wendy’s Company were re-elected to the board.  Kate Jaspon with Dunkin' Brands, Inc was also recently appointed to the board to fill a vacancy. Visit the full MAG board roster

What's on the Horizon for 2016?

The MAG has some important upcoming projects scheduled for 2016:

  • CNP Initiative: MAG has always been a leading merchant trade organization in focusing on card-not –present transaction environments, but with the onset of mobile commerce and the convergence of onmi-channel payment environments, MAG is taking our CNP presence to the next level. The MAG has recently brought on a consultant to enhance the MAG focus and efforts on CNP.
  • Best Practices Surveys
    • Transaction Security Survey: This survey will ultimately provide best practices with respect to protecting sensitive data, including tokenization and encryption.
    • Least Cost Routing Survey: This survey will identify best practices with respect to merchant debit routing choice – a practice protected by law under the Durbin amendment.
MAG Digital Engagement Project: The MAG is in the process of creating an educational website geared toward simplifying the payments ecosystem, as well as the many complicated transaction and security issues we all deal with every day. The goal is to create a digestible payments education platform to be utilized by lawmakers, regulators, media, consumers, and other merchants. Ultimately, the MAG will use the website to better engage with key audiences to educate in digital venues about the merchant perspective on priority payments issues.
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
    • October 18-21: Association for Financial Professionals (AFP), Denver, CO
    • December 8-9: EMV/EMVCo, Ft. Lauderdale, FL
  • Liz Garner
    • October 20: Bank Info Security, NYC - Panelist
    • October 21: STAR Board of Advisors Meeting , Phoenix - Speaker
    • October 22: Fed Regional Business Advisory Council, Baltimore, MD
    • October 25-27: Privacy Xchange, Scottsdale, AZ - Panelist
    • November 9-10: Fed Security Task Force, Chicago, IL
    • November 12-13: Mobile Payments Industry Working Group Boston, MA
    • November 17: Atlanta Fed Biometrics Summit
    • December 9: EMV/EMVCo, Ft. Lauderdale, FL

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