Advocacy

Merchants have begun to realize the criticality of payments to their businesses and have now become actively engaged in efforts to pursue merchant interests in the payments ecosystem. The MAG members represent the country’s most knowledgeable and well-informed merchant payments experts who actively discuss, debate and advocate these interests with other payment ecosystem stakeholders.

The MAG vigorously pursues merchant objectives regarding payment issues of importance. Foremost among these issues are improving the customer payment experience, lowering the high cost of payment acceptance, reducing payment fraud, ensuring a fair and competitive payments landscape for in-person and digital payments, educating stakeholders on the need for open standards and pressing for meaningful representation in decision-making payments forums. The MAG seeks out opportunities to represent its members at payment industry events and in the trade press. We also actively collaborate with other merchant trade associations, acting as a resource for subject matter expertise on payments matters. 

Legislative & Regulatory:
The Merchant Advisory Group’s top legislative priority is to ensure debit reforms, also known as the Durbin Amendment, remain intact and successfully advocated to have a provision repealing the Durbin Amendment removed from HR 10, The Financial Choice Act before the bill was considered on the House Floor. The Durbin Amendment requires debit fees to be reasonable and proportional, promotes routing competition and merchant choice, and offers protections for merchants from excessive card network fines for any business who offers a debit discount. The MAG is also a strong advocate for legislation promoting the adoption of an open and equitable standards process for payments.

The MAG works closely with federal agencies, such as the Federal Trade Commission, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Department of Justice, Department of Commerce, the Federal Reserve Board, and others to promote a fair and equitable payment system that best serves the needs of U.S. consumers and to ensure merchant choice in payment services is not infringed upon by any stakeholder in the payments chain. Recently, the MAG has been engaged with several agencies responsible for ensuring Regulation II merchant routing rights and choice are not limited in the marketplace.

Market Changes:
The MAG also advocates directly on behalf of the MAG membership with payment card network brands and merchant acquirers to promote a more efficient, more secure, open, equitable, and transparent payment system environment that meets the needs of our joint customer. This effort is led by the MAG Collaboration Committee.