Past Articles

  • MAG Benefits – Taking a closer look at the MAG’s Learning Center.

    Jun 10, 2021

    MAG Merchant Members and Sponsors join the Merchant Advisory Group (MAG) for many different reasons. Payments education and resources, networking with industry peers, and staying on top of payments developments are among the top of the list for most. The value MAG provides in these areas is likely the reason MAG enjoys high membership and sponsorship retention year after year.

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  • Flexibility is the Name of the Game for the MAG 2021 Annual Conference and Tech Forum

    Jun 4, 2021

    As the world takes steps to return to normal, the MAG is doing its part as well! We are offering our upcoming 2021 MAG Annual Conference and Tech Forum in multiple formats to reach as many payments professionals as possible and allow everyone to attend in the way that is most convenient for them.

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  • Why Microsoft Values the MAG

    Jun 2, 2021

    Microsoft has invested in payments capabilities over the last decade to be able to meet our customers where they want to pay and optimize around the same. During that time, the world of payments has evolved and become much more intricate with an array of options with uncertain returns. Determining what to do and what not to do has become more art than science and we have leveraged the forums and connections made at the MAG to help us decipher how to maneuver in the payments sphere and how to capitalize on emerging and prevailing trends.

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  • The Payments Journey Starts with the Consumer

    May 6, 2021

    The speed of change we are witnessing around the world has never been greater or more exciting. It is taking place in every region of the globe and in every industry—with the Asia Pacific region and payments being no exception. The many advances that are occurring on what seems a daily basis are delivering previously unthinkable flexibility and speed across all borders. At Discover® Global Network, we see the opportunities and recognize the challenges. We know the most important work we do is to strive to meet our customers’ needs and protect their security while ensuring seamless payment experiences throughout the world.

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  • How does payments policy fit into the 2021 agenda?

    Apr 23, 2021

    I was on a conference call recently when I realized I have advocated on payments policy for retailers in various roles for a decade as of this April. Time flies when you’re having fun, right?

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  • Driving down the Merchant Priorities Road(map) in 2021

    Apr 16, 2021

    Best Practices. You may have heard this term a lot lately. The MAG published four Best Practice Guides in 2020. The guides were organized by a group of merchants, whose mission was to pull together considerations, recommendations and best practices on specific topics. There were many worthy topics in 2020 to deeply examine and assess. These are great resources for merchants who hear buzz words all the time like “8-digit BIN” and “Debit Routing,” but don’t have the full grasp on what that means, or what they should be doing to react to it.

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  • The Digital Transformation of Payments: A Powerful Case for Omnichannel Commerce

    Apr 14, 2021

    In a year that brought tremendous disruption to all walks of life, 2020 will also be seen as a turning point for merchants, particularly those who had already started down the path toward emerging payments technologies. These businesses gained a significant competitive head start, allowing them to quickly implement changes in support of dramatic consumer behavioral shifts. As online, curbside, and third-party delivery purchases dominated the shopping experience, those who were able to meet this consumer demand were best positioned to take advantage of the opportunities.

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  • Trip Down Memory Lane

    Mar 23, 2021

    Does the U.S. payments industry learn from its experiences or will we experience a bit of Déjà vu? Many of you have tried to forget the good times of 2015 when the EMV liability shift was upon us. Some of you may still be in a state of disbelief that was now almost six years ago! What?!? However, U.S. market chip trends suggest only three quarters of POS/ATM transactions are chip-on-chip six years later. Wait, there is more?...

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  • The Evolving Alternative Payments Landscape

    Mar 12, 2021

    The payments space has never been a static environment, and recently it has evolved even more rapidly with a hotbed of activity. Whether it is cryptocurrency, Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) or faster payments, there are many new choices coming to market which merchants need to consider for their checkout experience.

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  • Engagement Opportunities and Educational Content Were Highlights at MYC21 and Tech Forum!

    Mar 11, 2021

    MAG successfully hosted its second virtual event with the 2021 Mid-Year Conference and Tech Forum.

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  • Engage with the MAG to Drive Positive Change in Payments This Year!

    Mar 5, 2021

    I am honored to write to you today as one of the newest MAG board members. As we move into 2021, we have reason to be hopeful for a brighter tomorrow, as well as excited to be part of a payments industry that is advancing at an even faster pace into the 21st century.

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  • MAG Introduces Interactive Payments eLearning Course

    Mar 5, 2021

    The MAG has officially launched a first of its kind eLearning course, Merchant Payments 101! Not only was this an exciting endeavor for the MAG, but we believe it is an even more exciting resource for all stakeholders of the payments system and especially the merchant community.

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  • Payments During the Pandemic: the Canadian Experience

    Feb 17, 2021

    When asked to write a piece for this edition of MAG Insights, I first thought that there would be relatively little to say about Canada’s payments experience during the COVID-19 crisis that would differ from that of other countries. As it turns out, we do have a few twists and turns of our own, all of which, unfortunately, have tended to increase merchants’ payment-acceptance costs.

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  • 2020 – The Year of Education Transformation

    Feb 2, 2021

    Late last year, MAG launched the MAG Learning Center, an on-demand portal filled with our educational resources including past webinars, conference presentations, best practice guides and more. On the heels of the MLC launch, we recently opened Merchants Payments 101, an online course for newbies and veterans alike, explaining the history and fundamentals of merchants’ payments acceptance. We work in an exciting, innovative industry, and we are excited to offer merchant members these tools looking to further their education in merchants payments.

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  • Don’t miss the MAG’s 2021 Virtual Mid-Year Conference and Tech Forum

    Jan 14, 2021

    MAG’s Mid-Year Conference and Tech Forum are shaping up to be an exciting kickoff to 2021!

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  • MAG offers merchant members many benefits!

    Jan 8, 2021

    MAG offers a diverse offering of member benefits for our merchant members. Our education, networking with industry peers, and advocacy efforts are at the top of the list.

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  • A Rise in Fraud Keeps Online Merchants on Toes. An overview of how fraud affects the digital goods industry and the industry solution

    Jan 7, 2021

    At the end of the day, it is inevitable: as e-commerce grows (booming amid our global crisis), so has fraud within the industry. As payments have moved online over the past two decades and increasingly the last 10 months, the fraudsters have followed close behind, exploiting the weaknesses of merchant security systems.

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  • A Merchant's Point of View on the Value of Communities of Practice

    Jan 7, 2021

    Compared to many of my fellow payments professionals, I still consider myself a “newbie.” I found my way onto The Home Depot’s Financial Services team in 2016 where I helped transition our business and technology teams into product management and agile development.

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  • What’s Up in Washington: A Look Back at 2020 and What Happens Next

    Dec 16, 2020

    2021 presents unique challenges as policymakers grapple with a pandemic and Presidential transition at the same time. These external factors could mean it takes extra effort and a longer amount of time to see payments policy changes through advocacy and educational efforts, but merchants should not be deterred.

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  • Success for the MAG’s first Virtual Tech Forum and Annual Conference!

    Dec 11, 2020

    MAG hosted its first virtual Tech Forum and Annual Conference in October 2020. The Tech Forum saw record attendance with nearly 500 registrants, a 57% increase from its inaugural event in 2019, and the Annual Conference, with over 800 registrants, had a 27% increase in attendance compared to 2019 Annual Conference.

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The Merchant Advisory Group

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