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The Great Debate: The Biggest Innovations in Payments This Year

Thank you

Join a panel of MAG experts to discuss some of the biggest innovations we are seeing in payments in 2023 and watch as they debate which is the true disruptor versus only a novelty. In this session, we will cover APMs, faster payments, alternative currencies, and new methods of card authentication that have arisen. We will also look to the future to see what could be on the horizon for merchant payments in 2024 and beyond.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Understand the current trends in the payments industry
  2. Understand key technologies within the industry
  3. Learn the applicability of payments innovations
Please note, this webinar is for current MAG merchant members and sponsors.



  • John Drechny | CEO - Merchant Advisory Group

    John has been CEO of the Merchant Advisory Group (MAG) since 2019. As CEO, John helps MAG’s merchant members drive positive change and innovation in the payments industry, serving merchants’ interests through collaboration, education, and advocacy. Under John’s leadership, the MAG has grown considerably and launched new efforts includingTech Forum, MAG International, and Merchant Payments self-directed eLearning series.

    Prior to joining the MAG, John enjoyed a 20-year career at Walmart holding various leadership positions in Payments Acceptance, Marketing, and Financial Services. As part of the leadership of Walmart’s Payments team, John helped shape and implement a comprehensive strategy increasing the ease of payments in an omni-channel environment while ensuring Walmart could deliver on its brand promise of helping its customers save more so they can live better.

    In addition to his work at the MAG and Walmart, John has participated in many cross-functional payments industry groups including the Faster Payments Council and U.S. Payments Forum, where he has held Board positions. John also speaks at many of the payments industry’s key events. Industry stakeholders have recognized John for his ability to collaborate, find common ground, and drive positive outcomes from opposing views.

    John attended Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Illinois, where he received his bachelor’s degree. He currently lives in Venice, Florida.

  • Kelly Andrus | Director, Collaboration - Merchant Advisory Group

    Kelly supports the Merchant Advisory Group (MAG) as our Director of Collaboration. She is an industry veteran with over 30 years of experience in merchant payments. Most recently, Kelly developed and delivered on strategic initiatives as the Director of US Payments for EG America. Prior to that, Kelly worked for a downstream refiner marketer and got her start in payments working for an acquirer. Kelly was one of the inaugural MAG conference attendees in 2008 and has been engaged with the MAG in many capacities since. Her innate curiosity, pragmatic approach, and ability to foster meaningful relationships make her well-suited to lead our collaboration efforts with MAG merchants and sponsors.

  • Bryan Penny | Vice President, Collaboration and Education - Merchant Advisory Group

    Bryan Penny is Vice President, Collaboration and Education at the Merchant Advisory Group. In this role, Bryan oversees the MAG’s collaboration efforts with stakeholders in the payments ecosystem; and the MAG’s education offerings.
    Prior to joining MAG, Bryan Penny was with American Express as Vice President, Policy and Data Standards since March 2020. In this role, Bryan oversees a team that analyzes, consults, and develops policies and data standards for American Express issuers, acquirers, service providers, and their customers. Bryan previously worked with Nordstrom, where he led the Merchant Payments team for six years. In this role, he led all payment innovation, including product management, store technology, and establishing co-branded credit card programs in Canada and Puerto Rico. Bryan recently served as the Vice Chair of the Merchant Advisory Group (MAG), has been an active speaker at various payments conferences, and is looked to as a leader in the merchant payment community. Earlier, Bryan was responsible for vendor management and information security for Nordstrom’s bank, having initially joined as a Controller for their bank in 2007. Prior to Nordstrom, Bryan held several accounting and finance roles with Quark, an international digital media software company, and First Data. Bryan holds an MBA from Webster University and a BA in Economics and Accounting from University of Illinois/Urbana. When he is not at work, he enjoys spending time with his friends dining out, going to theater, and enjoying the outdoors. Bryan has been involved in the Denver community over the past 20 years, where he was a founding member of the local neighborhood association. Bryan and his husband, Matt, live in Denver.

  • Reed Luhtanen | Executive Director - U.S. Faster Payments Council

    Reed Luhtanen is Executive Director of the U.S. Faster Payments Council (FPC). The FPC is an industry-led membership organization whose mission is to facilitate a world-class payment system where Americans can safely and securely pay anyone, anywhere, at any time and with near-immediate funds availability. Reed is responsible for managing the daily operations of the organization and working with the FPC board and membership to execute on the FPC’s strategic plan while ensuring inclusive and transparent dialogue with all FPC stakeholders. FPC members include business end-users, consumer organizations, financial institutions, payment network operators, technology providers, and others. Reed has extensive experience in the payments industry and has served on myriad industry bodies, most recently an officer on the FPC Board of Directors; the Federal Reserve-sponsored Governance Framework Formation Team, which created the U.S. Faster Payments Council; and the Corporate Advisory Group for The Clearing House’s Real-Time Payments System. Prior to joining the FPC, he spent 15 years at Walmart, departing as senior director of global treasury, where he was responsible for the company’s payments-related public policy and public relations initiatives, network and processor relationships, and establishing Walmart’s payments acceptance strategies. In 2015, Reed was recognized as one of PayBefore’s “Top Ten Payments Lawyers” and The Electronic Transactions Association honored him as a member of its “Forty Under 40” class in 2019. He has a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Arkansas’ Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences and a J.D. from the University of Arkansas School of Law. He is based in Bentonville, AR.

  • Josh Pynn | Senior Manager, Payments Content - Merchant Advisory Group

    Josh is an experienced payments professional with intricate knowledge of the merchant payments ecosystem, spanning from card fee structures to APM considerations. He has spent nearly four years advising merchants on their payments acceptance strategy and building robust optimization roadmaps. Josh has used his expertise to build compelling narratives from complex data analysis to the service of advocating for fairer and more competitive payments in the United States. He had a significant role in many of the wins over the past 2 years, such as delaying the global network interchange increases, the introduction of the CCCA, and the Federal Reserve clarification on Regulation II. Josh is excited to be a part of the MAG to continue servicing and educating merchants on the complexities of payments acceptance, and advocate for them as payments continue to evolve.

March 29, 2023
Wed 12:00 PM CDT

Duration 1H 0M

This live web event has ended.