Past Articles

  • CFPB Activites

    Jan 30, 2024

    The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has created a flurry of activity in the past 12 months regarding topics such as open banking, excessive banking fees, and their most recent proposal looks to bring additional oversight to digital wallets currently operating in the U.S. What does this new proposal mean for wallet providers, merchants, and consumers alike?

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  • Payments Orchestration – Why go there?

    Jan 25, 2024

    This article is not intended to be a history lesson in payments, but it is important to revisit a few innovations to bring the topic of payments orchestration along. Before the history lesson, we need to define payments orchestration. Generally, this is a process that can be developed either internally or with a partner to allow for the use of multiple payment processors, technologies, or acquirers to optimize the payments process and customer experience.

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  • Need a Professional Development Boost? Let the MAG help!

    Jan 23, 2024

    As a MAG merchant member, there are many opportunities to advance your payments career and expand your knowledge through our professional development resources. Do you lead a team? Use our resources to amplify your team’s performance and build the momentum to move your business forward!

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  • Why Take a Multi-Acquirer Approach?

    Jan 22, 2024

    Traditionally, merchants would engage a single payment processor for all acquiring needs. However, evolving global requirements and market dynamics have led to a shift, with merchants increasingly opting for multiple providers. Even when a single acquirer could handle a merchant's domestic processing requirements, there are compelling reasons for diversification.

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  • Don’t Miss MAG’s First Ever Payments MAGnified!

    Jan 18, 2024

    As announced at our last conference, MAG’s February event has undergone changes to not only differentiate our bi-annual conferences but also to continue to evolve in the best direction for our payments community.

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  • MAG APAC Summit 2023

    Jan 16, 2024

    The Merchant Advisory Group's 2023 APAC Summit on 1-2 November in Singapore proved to be an extraordinary event! It’s remarkable how it has rapidly grown, despite only being our second annual summit in the APAC region.

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  • 2024 MAG’s Strategic Objectives

    Jan 10, 2024

    2023 saw a lot of exciting changes in the payments industry, and it’s likely to be another busy year ahead. Planning a successful strategy requires all areas of the organization to work together towards common goals, and the MAG team is no different. Here’s a preview of some of the things you will see from the MAG in 2024.

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  • Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) Migration to Chip Cards - The First of Many Hills to Climb

    Jan 2, 2024

    In late Spring 2023, industry partners began collaborating on an updated ISO spec used for EBT cards to accommodate a migration to chip technology. Sounds easy, right? Most merchants have upgraded to chip card terminals by now, so what's one more card with a chip on it? Many of us active in payments during the initial EMV migration still bear the scars.

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  • When Less is More, the EMVCo C-8 Contactless Kernel

    Dec 6, 2023

    In October of 2022, EMVCo published a new specification for a contactless kernel. While that may be a yawn-inducing announcement for many people, the potential significance of this specification should not be overlooked.

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  • Exciting News for MAG Merchant Members in 2024!

    Dec 4, 2023

    As the year draws to a close, we at the Merchant Advisory Group (MAG) want to express our heartfelt gratitude for your unwavering support as a valued merchant member throughout the past year.

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  • An Inside Look from A MAG Board Member!

    Dec 1, 2023

    The MAG asked Board Member Director Ken Grogan of Wakefern Food Corp. about his journey through his payments profession and his long-time involvement with the MAG.

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  • Condensed Learning, Expanded Skills: Microlearning for Payments Professionals

    Nov 17, 2023

    As your organization continues to evolve in today's fast-paced payments landscape, our team recognizes the need for ongoing learning delivered efficiently. That is why we are excited to expand our on-demand offerings to include microlearning in 2024, providing condensed and targeted learning experiences focused on critical topics like tokenization, real-time payments, and emerging payments technology.

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  • The Federal Reserve Proposes A Debit Rate Reduction, Open Banking Comment Period Open at CFPB, and More!

    Nov 8, 2023

    There is a renewed focus on payments policy in 2023. This year, most of the discussion has revolved around the Credit Card Competition Act, as card-focused legislation has not seen the floors of Congress since 2010. However, there are many externalities in card issuance and acceptance that have kept the focus of regulators: mainly the Federal Reserve, Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). These three agencies have each announced activity regarding U.S. payments.

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  • What are the quarterly brand releases and how should merchants be evaluating the impacts?

    Nov 2, 2023

    Late in the summer, merchants received notices from their acquirers, gateways, and payment service providers (PSPs) about the October brand release. Nothing can wreak havoc on a P&L or budget like unexpected fee changes. Yet, while fee changes get most of the attention, these quarterly release cycles contain so much more than just changes in fees. The quarterly brand releases often include changes to processing requirements, new or updated data fields and values, compliance program updates, and chargeback rules changes that may target transactions within a specific channel, geography, or merchant segment.

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  • Why Merchants Should Monitor Open Banking Developments

    Oct 24, 2023

    It has been a busy year in payments with the Reg II clarification enforcement and the launch of Fed Now, but there is no rest for the weary. The CFPB announced a new set of regulations for open banking and proposed a rulemaking in early October. Earlier this summer, Director Chopra wrote, “The CFPB is working to accelerate the shift to open banking through a new personal data rights rule intended to break down these obstacles, jumpstart competition, and protect financial privacy.” With this as a backdrop, the payments landscape will be set for more change as early as 2024. The proof will be in the implementation of these rules, but Director Chopra hopes this will be a good change in the financial services industry.

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  • MAG Annual Conference & Tech Forum 2023: Two New Milestones and a Major Announcement

    Oct 19, 2023

    Year-over-year, MAG Annual Conference and Tech Forum has continued to increase in size and offerings and this year’s conference was no different. We reached a milestone of more than 1,150 attendees, breaking last year’s record for our largest attendance in MAG’s history. However, while the number of attendees has grown, the event still provided a comfortable and welcoming environment for everyone. The atmosphere had a palpable energy felt by all – robust attendance in all sessions, active engagement and interaction between the audience and speakers, and three nights of lively networking.

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  • 2024 MAG Sponsorship Restructure: Explained

    Oct 17, 2023

    On September 10, 2023, we hosted our MAG members and sponsors in Atlanta, Georgia, for our 2023 Annual Conference and Tech Forum. It was the perfect celebration of the MAG’s 15-year anniversary and was our largest conference yet – with over 1,100 attendees. Prior to the conference, we announced a new sponsorship structure, which will go into effect on January 1, 2024.

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  • The Value of Being Inquisitive

    Oct 4, 2023

    Throughout my career, some of the hardest decisions I have made were the ones where I needed to make an instant decision that affected an unknown future. The reason I feel these are the hardest decisions to make is they must be made on assumptions. Often, when gathering information for these decisions, those supplying the information presented it with bias.

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  • Securing data in transit: A guide to PCI-validated P2PE

    Oct 2, 2023

    As data breaches and cyberattacks grow more common, businesses need robust security measures to protect sensitive customer payment data. This is especially evident in the retail industry, where an increasing number of acceptance endpoints amplifies merchants’ vulnerability to data compromises and breaches.

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  • MAG Continues its Global Expansion with the 2023 APAC Summit, 1-2 November

    Sep 28, 2023

    Following the success in 2022 of our first in-person event in Singapore, we are thrilled to share MAG is hosting its second annual APAC Summit, 1-2 November 2023 at the Westin Singapore.

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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.