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Being a merchant is not easy. New challenges arise every moment as the world’s economy shifts with innovation. Businesses can turn to organizations such as the Merchant Advisory Group (MAG) and the Merchant Risk Council for guidance as they navigate the business world. 

It’s especially important for high risk merchants to know that these resources are available to them. High risk merchants have a more difficult time securing payment processing and experience inequality in the industry. The MAG and MRC continue to level the playing field for all businesses.

What is the Merchant Advisory Group (MAG)?

Wouldn’t it be reassuring to know that you have a powerful group rooting for your rights as a business? The Merchant Advisory Group is that necessary representation for merchants across the U.S. They’re the voice for businesses at monumental meetings such as those with the Federal Reserve Bank. 

Their goal is a more merchant-friendly payment industry based on equality and fairness. 

How does the MAG Help Merchants? 

Membership and Involvement 

All MAG members are merchants. This gives these businesses more power and it makes sure that their voices are heard. Being a MAG member opens up a realm of educational materials, networking opportunities, and more. All businesses are welcome to membership regardless of industry. 

The all-access MAG membership goes as far as giving members the right to directly participate and vote in board meetings. There is also a digital-access membership which still gives members access to MAG’s online reservoir. 


There’s countless aspects of business that business school did not teach. As a merchant, you most likely learned through experience. Entering the complicated world of payment process and business finances can be overwhelming, even for seasoned business owners.

Webinars, eLearning, and member-specific content is available on MAG’s website. These resources are continuously improved upon so that merchants can get the best MAG can offer. MAG resources cover a wide breadth of topics, but some topics include payments data and debit routing. 

MAG also has resources specific to “special-interest” groups. Many of these groups are part of high-risk industries, such as eCommerce. 


Dealing with the likes of large financial organizations such as Visa can be daunting. It’s nearly impossible to reach decision makers as a business. This divide is where MAG comes in. They represent businesses in conferences with financial and government organizations. 

Additionally, MAG partners with these big influencers to improve the merchant experience. Visa and MAG are implementing a change in dispute resolution that will reduce chargebacks, a vital goal for high risk merchants. 

These groups come together to create easy-to-access resources such as Know Your Payments

What is the Merchant Risk Council (MRC)?

The Merchant Risk Council (MRC) creates and enforces solutions to fight fraud and other security concerns in payment processing. The group came together when eCommerce fraud became a growing issue. MRC remains a non-profit organization and continues to work with other groups in improving payment security. 

The MRC’s goal is to create a safer payment ecosystem for businesses and financial partners. 

How Does the MRC Help Merchants? 

Membership and Involvement 

MRC offers varying levels of membership and involvement for companies, payment solution providers, and industry partners such as law enforcement. These separate groups come together to take part in fighting against eCommerce crime. 

Like MAG, MRC offers networking opportunities and education for their members. MRC conferences are where professionals from all over the world come together to educate and collaborate. 


MRC continuously updates their e-learning program with new classes. Their education resources and webinars focus on recent fraud trends and implementing preventative measures. 

The bigger educational appeal that MRC offers is their certification program. Through this program, the MRC creates an industry standard for all. The MRC certification represents expertise in fraud prevention. This certification is perfect for those looking to grow in the payment processing and fraud prevention industries. 


Visa’s decision to improve dispute processes proves how essential representation by the MRC is. This change is a huge step for fraud prevention as it specifically targets friendly fraud. 

This continuing advocacy protects and strengthens the eCommerce industry and its businesses. 

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