Registration is currently up 30% from this time last year and over 70% of the MAG membership has already committed to attend the MAG's 7th Annual Conference "Tomorrowland - The Future of Payments," September 22-24 in San Antonio, TX. Three (3) representatives from each MAG merchant member company can attend MAG conferences at no charge! Add your name to the list!

*View Conference Agenda
*Subject to Change

On The EVE of EMV
By Lee Jurgens, MAG Chairman and Director, Sales and Tender Audit - Ralph Lauren

The publication of this edition of the MAG’s quarterly newsletter comes on the eve of the liability shift associated with EMV. As Chairman of the MAG, I believe it is important to note the MAG’s fervent belief that the American public and the MAG’s members are getting less than they deserve from this costly conversion. Read the Full Article

Merchant and Bank Collaboration is Essential to U.S. Payments
By Mark Horwedel, Merchant Advisory Group

Today, the payments landscape in the U.S. is highly contentious, distinguished primarily by ongoing bickering between merchant interests and bank interests. It seems to merchants that banks are singularly focused on maintaining the status quo, while banks view merchants as singularly focused on the cost of card acceptance. Sometimes lost is the fact that both share  in common a desire to better serve their customers, build loyalty and compete effectively against their peers. Read the Full Article

More to the point of the necessity of merchant and bank cooperation from noted payments industry consultant and pioneer John MacAllister
By John MacAllister, Principal, Dorado Industries

If forced to name three useless things, I would include pennies, Khloe Kardashian, and asymmetrical payments networks. Read the Full Article

What’s Up in Washington: Merchant Truths About EMV & Data Security
By Liz Garner, Merchant Advisory Group

With the October 1 EMV liability shift dates looming for most merchant point-of-sale environments, there has been an increasing amount of rhetoric surrounding EMV and data security in Washington. Amid all the back and forth about EMV in DC, we felt like it would be a timely article to put together a few Merchant Truths about EMV and data security. Read the Full Article

Events and Education
MAG Educational Webinars
Mark your calendars for October 14th when the MAG will present a webinar on Managing Cyber Risk with the MAG CyberRisk Hub®, the new MAG member resource. Join us for this introduction to the MAG CyberRisk Hub where you will learn how to best leverage this new membership benefit offering. Register Today!

View the 2015 MAG webinar schedule
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 MAG introduces New Member Benefit: The CyberRisk Hub®

To help mitigate loss exposures and provide superior service to its membership, the MAG has launched the MAG CyberRiskHub. The CyberRiskHub is a private, mobile-friendly website that provides tools and resources to help merchants understand their exposures, establish a response plan and minimize the effects of a breach on their organizations. It also serves as a Crisis Center, providing merchants with the information and technical resources they need to respond quickly and effectively to a data breach, privacy violation or other cyber incident. The portal is powered and maintained by NetDiligence®, a leading cyber risk assessment and data breach services company. Read the Full Article

MAG Releases Interchange Optimization Survey Results to Members
The MAG recently sent the survey results of the Best Practices in Interchange Optimization to MAG members. The MAG conducted this member survey in an effort to provide solutions to reduce interchange fees.

The survey was very successful with a 61% response rate.  All information is confidential and reported in aggregate.  The survey results and summary can be found in the member resource area of the MAG website.  Members must be logged in to view the information. Read the Full Article

MAG 2015 Board of Directors Election and Notice of Annual Meeting

The Merchant Advisory Group's bylaws require an Annual Meeting of the Membership. As a MAG member, you are hereby notified that this meeting, which will be held in conjunction with the 2015 Annual Conference, will begin at 8:10am CT on Thursday, September 24, 2015 at the Hyatt Regency San Antonio Riverwalk in San Antonio, TX. More Information

MAG Has Come a Long Way
By Kathy Hanna, Director, Enterprise Payments & Store Support, The Kroger Co.

MAG has become a “who’s who” in the payment industry.  Not only are there merchants from every industry represented within MAG, but every size of merchant participates.  In addition, acquirers, card brands, debit networks, payment service providers and the list goes on and on of the organizations that support and attend MAG conferences, more than forty companies. Read the Full Article

Going Beyond the Transaction to Deliver Greater Value to Merchants
By Ramon Martin, Global Head of Merchant Sales & Solutions, Visa. Inc.

With the explosion of mobile commerce and connected devices, there’s never been a more complex time be a merchant. Much of this change ties back to payments and Visa is making changes to help merchants thrive during this complicated transformation. Read the Full Article

STAR Network Ups the Debit Ante Post-Durbin
By Angela Burker, Vice President, First Data

In the decades between the proliferation of debit cards and the passage of the Durbin Amendment in 2010 as part of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, retailers and business-owners – no matter their size – only had two routing options when it came to signature debit transactions (those that don’t require a PIN) at the point of sale (POS) or card-not-present transactions: Visa and MasterCard. Read the Full Article

Expanded Debit POS and E-Commerce Capabilities
By David Munno, Vice President, Accel Business Development

U.S. debit payments networks are actively expanding payments and funds access capabilities. As a payments industry innovator, Fiserv has continued to expand the payments solutions and capabilities of Accel®, our debit payments network, in direct concert with the ever-evolving market to deliver secure and convenient payments to our acquiring and issuing participants. Read the Full Article

Also in this Issue

European Competition Commission Gets it Right with Payments Legislation?
By Ruth Milligan, Head of Payments and Retail Finance at the British Retail Consortium

In July of 2013, the European Commission put forward a proposal for a legislative package to improve the competitiveness of the European payments market. This article will concentrate on the Interchange Fee Regulation, which proposes caps on the level of interchange fees, the removal of restrictive rules on cross-border acquiring and honor all cards, and changes to other payment card scheme practices that create barriers for new payment market entrants, and ultimately lead to higher costs for EU consumers. Read the Full Article

America's Payment Cards - Unsafe at any Swipe
By Dean Sheaffer, Senior Vice President Financial Services/Chief Compliance Officer, Boscov's Department Stores, LLC

My first car wasn’t a Pinto, but it was almost as poorly engineered as the car with the infamous exploding gas tank.  The good news is that U.S. car manufacturers have learned from their mistakes and made modern cars dramatically safer than when I was a teenager in the 1970s. Read the Full Article

The MAG is On The Road
MAG CEO, Mark Horwedel and MAG Vice President, Liz Garner, will be representing the MAG in many industry events over the next several months:
  • Mark Horwedel
    • October 13-15: ETA - Scottsdale
    • October 18-21: AFP - Denver, Panelist
    • October 27-28: Paythink - Vegas, Panelist
    • November 17: Atlanta Fed
  • Liz Garner
    • September 9: Fed Mobile Payment Industry Working Group (MPIW) Tokenization Subgroup - Boston
    • October 25-27: Privacy Xchange Forum - Scottsdale, Panelist
    • November 9-10: Fed Security Task Force - Chicago
    • November 12-13: Fed Mobile Payment Industry Working Group (MPIW) - Boston
Welcome MAG New Members and Sponsors!
(Since 6/3/15)
MAG Members
Nationwide Insurance
Vitamin Shoppe Industries, Inc.

GOLD Sponsor
Ingenico Group

Ingenico Group (Euronext: FR0000125346 - ING) is the global leader in seamless payment, providing smart, trusted and secure solutions to empower commerce across all channels, in-store, online and mobile. With the world’s largest payment acceptance network, we deliver secure payment solutions with a local, national and international scope. Click here for more.

SILVER Sponsor 

truRating is a mass point-of-payment rating system giving customers a voice and businesses the chance to listen and improve. By answering one simple, anonymous question via the payment terminal, customers can rate an aspect of their experience by pressing 0-9. Click here for more.

View a complete listing of MAG Sponsors

Sponsor Press Releases

Questions or comments? Contact the MAG at

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