Newly Appointed Fraud Prevention and Payments Industry Visionaries Expand MRC Mission

Merchant Risk Council
Oct 05, 2020
Press Release

The MRC Mission Has Broadened to Include Industry Advocacy and eLearning

Seattle, WA - October 2, 2020 -- The MRC recently strengthened its governance structure by electing Trevor Nies, Senior Director of eCommerce Payments, Risk Operations, and Analytics at Microsoft, as the Chair of the MRC Global Board of Directors and by hiring industry veteran Julie Fergerson as MRC CEO. Together, they have laid out a vision for the organization that expands the MRC mission by including a greater focus on advocacy and eLearning in fraud prevention and the payments industry.

Advocacy is of tremendous importance to the MRC's merchant members as the payments industry becomes more regulated than ever before. "Our advocacy work is focused on several key areas," said Fergerson, "one of them being a strong collaboration with the card networks enabling us to get advanced notifications about new mandates, and providing the merchant voice regarding the changes before they come into effect and likely impact the merchants significantly."

According to Fergerson, "The MRC has invested considerable effort in advocacy work related to requirements for Strong Customer Authentication (SCA). With the EU enforcement deadline for SCA compliance fast approaching (December 31, 2020), MRC has been working with a lot of our merchant members on creating data dashboards, which clearly show many countries in Europe are not yet ready for the switch to be flipped. We organized a roadshow, visiting many regulators to present the worrying data. As a result, we are seeing some countries shift the enforcement date."

The third area of focus for the MRC's advocacy work is tackling "hostile friendly fraud." The goal is to stop it where possible and, when it cannot be stopped, to work with the issuers and the card networks to cease coding those transactions as fraud but rather view them as "disputed transactions."

Both Nies and Fergerson place a great deal of importance on education. With the acceleration of card-not-present (CNP) payments and shifting consumer behavior patterns driven by the COVID-19 pandemic, educating the retail industry about eCommerce payments, fraud prevention, and chargebacks has never been more important. To that end, MRC launched a new platform for eLearning, RAPID Edu. "We have been teaching about chargebacks, fraud, and payments fundamentals at our conferences, events, and webinars for years. That comprehensive content was the basis for creating our RAPID Edu eLearning courses as a great way to get up to speed for those getting started in the industry. We plan on building out many more eLearning programs to add to our portfolio over the next couple of years," said Fergerson.

At the MRC Virtual conference on October 13-15, 2020, Nies and Fergerson will discuss the MRC vision and mission, and talk about the MRC's activities relating to SCA enforcement. In addition, the conference keynote sessions include a panel of industry leaders from Amazon, Microsoft, and Google who will discuss SCA readiness status for most European countries. This will include report cards on each country and the impact on consumers in the countries that are not ready for SCA to be enforced. The conference also includes a session with European regulator representatives, discussing SCA enforcement in their respective countries, including the UK, Belgium, and Germany. Finally, as fraudulent activities continue to grow and new schemes emerge from the cyber underworld, Gary Warner, Director of Research in Computer Forensics at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), will present his latest findings on developing cybercrime trends for which retailers should prepare.

About the MRC
The MRC is an unbiased global community providing a platform for eCommerce fraud and payments professionals to come together and share information. As a non-profit 501(c)6 organization, the MRC's vision is to make commerce safe and profitable everywhere by offering proprietary education, training, and networking as well as a forum for timely and relevant discussions. The MRC was launched in 2000, at the start of the eCommerce boom, by a small group of industry professionals from leading consumer brands, with the ultimate goal of combating online fraud in the card-not-present space. Since its inception, the MRC has also added online payments to its portfolio, expanding its presence further into eCommerce. The MRC is headquartered in Seattle, Washington.

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