MAG Insights

Announcements from the MAG & Featured Articles

Education: The New Home for MAG Education Is Coming Soon (MAG Quarterly- Volume Eight, Issue Three)

Eric OBrien Headshot_website
By Eric O’Brien, Director of Education, Merchant Advisory Group

September 2, 2020


Change in payments is constant, and it is our mission at the MAG to keep you informed and educated on the latest developments in the industry. We are excited to announce additional resources to help you navigate our materials in an easy to use, streamlined experience!

The Merchant Advisory Group (MAG) is built on five defining pillars…each of which represent a distinct specialty within payments that, when combined, create a master payments professional. Do you remember watching Captain Planet when you were a kid…and when the five environment rings powers were combined, it summoned Captain Planet? Yeah, it’s kind of like that…but for payments.

The MAG’s five pillars are:

  • Advocacy & Communications
  • Collaboration
  • Engagement
  • Technology
  • Education

Education is important to our members for two main reasons:

  • No formal education exists today for payments professionals. We have all laughed about how we did not go to college for payments…but the unfortunate fact is that it’s true! Most payments professionals have only had on-the-job training to supplement their college degrees and have never received a real education on the intricacies of the payments industry – making the education they receive at MAG events crucial to effectively managing their payments program. Acronyms that get thrown around (there’s a lot of those in payments) can make a rookie’s head spin, and we are here to help! Providing the payments fundamentals to our members is critical and a key reason education is important to the MAG.
  • Payments changes at lightning speed! Rules, fees, products, payment types - innovation is everywhere! Most merchants would bet that they will experience a change and things will be different within a year from now. Customer preferences and customers’ perception of security, as well as how they will interact with merchants and conduct purchases (thanks 2020), will also very likely be drastically different even six months from now. Staying up to speed with a quickly evolving landscape is a top priority for merchants to ensure they don’t miss the boat on key developments that could impact or improve their business. Merchants’ ability to learn from experts and, more importantly, their peers on challenges they may share is how we will move payments forward and have a seat at the table when changes happen.

Coming Soon: MAG’s all new Learning Management System (LMS)
Today, MAG merchants can receive education in a variety of ways, and attending one of our conferences is one option to do so. We host two distinct “education sessions” at all of our conferences that are led by an instructor that is an industry subject-matter-expert and have clear outlined learning objectives. Let’s be honest though, every session at a MAG event is educational in nature. Everyone learns something at each session, and sessions run the gamut on foundational, newsworthy, and niche topics. 

Another way to absorb educational content is through webinars. The MAG hosts roughly 18-20 webinars every year on core payments topics like PINless debit, contactless, managing your cost of payments, as well as timely and relevant discussions such as how to retain new consumers in a post-COVID environment. Register for the next one today - slots are filling up!

But by far, one of the most exciting things happening in our educational efforts this year is the launch of a brand new, Learning Management System (LMS for short)
– a revolutionary new offering for MAG merchants that will completely transform how payments professionals consume educational content in a slick user-friendly interface. LMS capabilities include:

  • Webinar registration and hosting
    • Lost your webinar confirmation email? On the new platform, you will be able to quickly see all events that you are registered for and easily access the live webinar when it begins broadcasting. Or, if you happened to miss the live event, you can watch the recording afterwards.
  • Committee & Community of Practice Hubs
    • Notes, resources, charters, in-progress whitepapers. Each Committee and Community of Practice will have a hub, so that if you happen to miss a meeting or lost an email, you’ll be able to find all relevant material for that group in a centralized place.
  • Special Interest Group (SIG) Central
    • We can all agree that SIGs are one of the most talked-about and valuable discussions that a MAG member can engage in. You will be able to review discussion notes and other resources mentioned during the meetings in an area specific to your SIG.
  • Smarter Payments Series
    • Whether you are a CEO or a payments professional, these short videos are the foundation you need, straight from the industry's top experts, to be a part of the change that will yield greater profits for our companies, savings for our customers, and a stronger future for our industry. 
  • Track your learning progress and performance
    • You will be able to see what learning you’ve completed, assessments you’ve taken, and what’s recommended for you in a beautiful dashboard view.

And a project we are the most excited about…

  • eLearning (more on this soon... promise☺)

The MAG’s new LMS is launching later this year as a part of our brand-new website and will be a consolidated place to access payments education and member resources.

We are working hard on the finishing touches and look forward to welcoming you into the new home for MAG Education later this year. Get excited!