I am enormously excited to have become one of the new additions to the MAG staff as Director of Tech Engagement. Having spent the greater part of my career working to deliver new payments platform capabilities, products, and experiences for several companies, I am delighted with the opportunity to bring my learnings, knowledge, and experience to our merchant members and sponsors. I have been lucky to have gained insight into the issues and demands that dominate payments technology teams throughout my career, working for every flavor from a start-up to a multi-national seller.
Two years ago, the MAG launched the Tech Forum as part of the mid-year and annual conferences. The MAG Board and leadership recognized that technology is moving at a faster pace than ever before. Our members and sponsors needed a venue to discover and debate customer experiences, learn about new capabilities, and discuss the optimization of their payments platforms in an open and trusted environment. It was a fortuitous move as the world descended into industry changing requirements over the past 18 months, forcing merchants and their vendors to move quickly and deliver new capabilities at a rate never thought possible. In speaking to one of our members, he stated that the changes and demands we have seen over the pandemic have pushed his organization and payments capabilities ahead five years of development in one year. This is something I know all of us have experienced.
New technology now facilitates products and experiences, payment types and methods, faster development, and security than was ever before possible. The payments domain is moving fast, and merchants need to keep up with customer demands. What we once could only dream of, and that technology was not ready to support, has been realized. There are so many options and experiences available today, but how do we choose the ones that bring the most value to our organizations, and with what technology?
The MAG Tech Forum looks to grow its footprint from the success it has established these past two years. We will dig deeper into best practices for infrastructure, product integration, security, vendor selection, and many other areas of payments technology. Expanding the scope of analysis and information, as well as finding more opportunities to engage with product development, will further merchants’ ability to evolve and adapt. We engage with various bodies that set industry payments standards such as EMVCo, FIDO, and W3C. Our goal is to bring the merchant technology voice to these groups, and others, to better the outcome of standards from these organizations. The Tech Forum will dive into more broad technology subjects that impact payments platforms and expand to cover the entire lifecycle of a transaction.
We hope you will join us for the virtual Tech Forum September 8- 9. I encourage you to register and attend the many great sessions we have lined up. There are excellent speakers who will deliver informative and relevant content. We have created an agenda packed with a wide breadth of subjects that cover general industry developments to focused subject matter expertise. All in all, it will be another great conference that gives everyone an opportunity to learn and grow from the sessions we have lined up. I also encourage you to get involved with the MAG as part of our many committees, communities of practice and special interest groups. They each provide opportunities to share your knowledge and voice. We depend on our member expertise to help us drive to a better outcome for the industry and expand the knowledge of payments and payments technology to all.
Payments technology has become an extremely fast-moving area – a massive shift from a very stagnant domain for years! It is putting increasing demands on all of us product and technologist, and I look forward to working with all of you these next years to bring the highest level of information and industry influence on a consistent value-driven outcome.