MAG Insights

Announcements from the MAG & Featured Articles

Letter from the MAG Board Chair: New MAG Board Chairman (MAG Quarterly- Volume Six, Issue Three)

By Troy Carrothers, Senior Vice President – Credit and Customer Service, Kohl's

September 6, 2018

As the Merchant Advisory Group (MAG) marks its tenth anniversary this year, it’s an exciting time to be in the payments industry.  And, it is with great pleasure and humility that I’m writing to you for the first time as the Chair of the MAG at this milestone moment.  

Since its inception, the MAG has made great strides in helping merchants navigate the increasingly complicated payments landscape and we have grown our membership to nearly one hundred and fifty merchant members, representing verticals from apparel to petroleum and home improvement to groceries.  Our members accept payments across virtually every payment channel in forms ranging from cash to digital currencies.  However, in many cases, we still have little control over many forms of payment we accept, the price we pay to accept these payments or the purchase liabilities imposed on us after receiving issuing-bank authorization for the purchases.  

As we continue to broaden the payment types we accept across our merchant base, our challenges continue to grow in the forms of technology, acceptance costs, ubiquitous acceptance, data security and consumer expectations.  At times, it seems the only things growing faster than payment options for consumers are our acceptance costs and fraud liability as we strive to meet consumers in the channels where they want to be.   With these challenges, it’s more important than ever to have a MAG staff and Board committed to helping merchants better understand the payments landscape while also creating an educated voice for merchants.  For the above mentioned reasons, the MAG will continue to put great focus on educational offerings for merchants in the form of webinars, videos, conferences and briefs while also striving to represent the best intentions of merchants across the industry for the remainder of 2018 and beyond.   

As the Chair of the MAG, I look forward to continuing to work with our staff and Board to bring our MAG members educational options that are timely and relevant while also helping merchants have a voice, ensuring merchant perspectives and expectations are heard by issuers, networks, technology providers and others affecting the payments landscape.