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MAG Board Corner: The MAG is a Voice for Payments Advocacy, Education and Networking (MAG Quarterly- Volume Five, Issue Three)

By John R. Manna, Vice President, US Controller, Lowe's Companies, Inc

September 7, 2017

Since joining the MAG Board of Directors and seeing firsthand what goes on behind the scenes it has given me the chance to reflect back on what the MAG has meant to me, my organization and to the Payments ecosystem since its inception. 

Having been involved in the payments industry as a retailer for well over twenty years (we will leave it at that) I have seen a lot of changes over the years and look at the formation and development of the MAG as one of the truly bright spots. To be truthful, when I first became involved in payments there were relatively few good resources for information and even fewer from a retailer’s perspective. What information was available was generally focused on the card brands, issuers or the acquirers and not the impacts of their actions on the retail community. 

From its inception the MAG has worked hard to give the retailer a seat at the table so their perspective is heard and considered by the other players in the payment space. As the MAG has grown and spread to virtually all retail segments, that voice of the retailer has grown stronger with it. When you see the hard work executed on a daily basis by Mark and his excellent team you realize that it is not by accident that the MAG continues to grow in size and relevance. 

That said, what do I think are the most important things that the MAG provides us as retailers? Advocacy, Education and Networking are what I have always told my team the MAG brings to us as retailers to take advantage of. Of course, as with most things, the more you get out of something is based on what you are willing to invest in it. The good news is that with the MAG there are multiple opportunities to get involved in any of its core activities and help yourselves and your teams develop as payment professionals. Whether its joining a committee, participating in webinars or attending conferences there are plenty of opportunities to take advantage of the MAG’s resources. With the pace of change rapidly increasing in the payment space, the resources the MAG provides us as retailers become even more important in the future. 

I look forward to this year’s annual conference in Orlando and hope that all of you are able to attend the MAG’s largest conference yet.