The Merchant Card Forum, 2019 – A Recap

Contributor:
Alex Ellwood
Alex Ellwood

On May 9, over 40 leading merchants and merchant trade association representatives gathered at CMSPI’s first annual Merchant Card Acceptance Forum in Dallas to hear from payments industry experts including CMSPI staff on the challenges and issues surrounding payments acceptance in the U.S.

Experts discussed concerns with the lack of competition in the U.S. payments space as well as how the global payments schemes have already eroded over half of the benefits associated with the Durbin Amendment to the Dodd-Frank Financial Reform law, much of it due to ineffective regulatory efforts and escalating scheme fees.

CMSPI CEO Brendan Doyle kicked off the meeting by stating CMSPI’s commitment to the merchant community stating “CMSPI only provides consulting services to merchants and will not work for issuers or card schemes”. CMSPI Chief Economist Callum Godwin contrasted European regulators to those in the U.S. referring to the former as “strong regulators” as opposed to “weak regulators” in the U.S.

Several panels followed covering a variety of topics including the need for greater merchant collaboration including data sharing, the importance of Durbin debit routing and the potential to extend Durbin-like reforms to credit as well as debit.

CMSPI acknowledges and is grateful to the many merchant advocates and experts who attended and participated in its inaugural event, including the Merchant Advisory Group. CMSPI and the MAG remain focused on the importance of merchant collaboration and urge merchants throughout the U.S. to support their efforts by attending future Merchant Card Acceptance Forums as well as MAG conferences.

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