The MAG’s International Expansion

The MAG’s International Expansion
Paul Tunstall Vice President, International Merchant Advisory Group
Apr 22, 2024

One of the key strategies for the MAG is to develop a comprehensive vision for expanding the MAG's presence in the APAC and European regions and build an international program that aligns with the MAG's mission. This includes leading efforts to engage local merchants within the payments system and fostering collaborative relationships with payment processors, technology providers, and regulatory bodies in these regions.

Establishing the MAG's reputation in new regions may require time and effort to gain trust and credibility among local stakeholders especially if they are not familiar with the MAG or its mission. The potential challenges in this international expansion could be brought about by cultural and regulatory differences, as expanding into international markets can often be complex and vary greatly from one region to another. Understanding market dynamics, consumer behaviours, and competition in APAC and Europe demands in-depth research and local insights. Engaging with local stakeholders, merchants, and regulators effectively might involve overcoming language barriers and ensuring cultural relevance in communication. Coordinating activities and knowledge sharing across different time zones and regions can be a logistical problem as well.

We need to ensure that the MAG’s international expansion becomes self-sustaining, which will involve generating revenue from events, memberships, and sponsorships. This means curating global payments expertise for the MAG’s members and providing them with the latest insights and trends. Developing the structure for international members and annual sponsors will include recruiting and retaining these members and sponsors through collaborative relationships. A key part of our success lies in developing local event strategies, shaping event agendas, and ensuring their effectiveness. 

To successfully expand into new regions, the MAG aims to build strong partnerships, leveraging local expertise in the APAC and European markets. We seek continued support and collaboration from the payments industry players who have expertise in these areas. These market insights will help us better understand the unique challenges, regulatory landscapes, and opportunities in these regions. 

Joining forces with regional and global payments industry coalitions and associations can amplify the MAG's advocacy efforts and provide a unified voice for merchants’ interests on an international scale. Establishing connections by networking with local merchants and industry professionals is crucial. We will expand our membership and sponsorship base in APAC and Europe, leveraging the expertise and insights of local businesses and technology providers. 

Collaboration with industry experts and payments solution providers can assist the MAG in creating region-specific educational resources and events that will help merchants in these locations better understand global payments trends and best practices. Partnering with technology companies, payments solution providers, and FinTechs in these regions can drive innovation and adoption of new payments solutions, which can also facilitate the integration of global payments technologies into regional markets. Furthermore, collaboration with organisations that specialise in cross-border payments solutions can help merchants navigate the complexities of international payments. 

Thought leadership and research will drive initiatives that can provide valuable data and insights into payments trends and consumer behaviour in APAC and Europe. This information will inform the MAG's strategies and advocacy efforts and allow us to adapt to regional nuances.

APAC and Europe have specific payments industry practices, complexities, challenges, and opportunities that differ from those in North America. The MAG’s expansion can help us learn and share best practices with merchants in these regions as well as focus on the following goals:

  • Better serve our existing merchant members and partners with business interests in these regions, allowing us to effectively address their unique needs and challenges.
  • Tap into new market growth opportunities and support merchant members in capitalising on some of the fastest-growing markets in the world. 
  • Offer vital guidance and support to international merchants in addressing the complexities of global payments and compliance as payments and cross-border transactions gain prominence. 
  • Increase engagement with regulatory authorities and payments networks in these regions and ensure they align with merchants’ interests. 
  • Facilitate networking and collaboration with regional industry stakeholders, payment processors, and technology providers. 

This focus can help the MAG build a stronger global community and foster cross-regional best practises.

On 7 March 2024, the MAG hosted another successful APAC merchant meet-up at Google's offices in Singapore. This event brought together over 40 attendees, a 30 percent uplift from the previous merchant meet-up, representing enterprise merchants from a wide range of industries, fostering invaluable networking and knowledge exchange opportunities. The highlight of the gathering was a dynamic discussion on payments orchestration, expertly chaired by the Co-founder of Juspay and the Founder, CEO of Liquid Group Singapore. The engaging dialogue and insights shared during this session were truly enlightening, reflecting the depth of expertise and collaboration within our community.

We are delighted by the positive reception and outcome of this event and are committed to building upon this momentum. Moving forward, we plan to host similar small-group merchant meet-ups regularly within the APAC region, providing ongoing opportunities for learning, networking, and collaboration among our esteemed merchants.

Upcoming Events

Registration Open: MAG Payments Summit, London ‘24. 10-12 June, Convene, 155 Bishopsgate, London EC2M 3YD. Merchant attendance is complimentary, but registration is required.

SAVE THE DATE: 13-15 November at Marina Bay Sands, Singapore. MAG Payments Summit, APAC ‘24.

The Merchant Advisory Group

Driving positive change and innovation in the payments industry that serves the merchants interest through collaboration, education, and advocacy.