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    FMI Lauds Merchant Advisory Group Payments Roadmap

    Efforts would move U.S toward safe and secure payment standard

    The Food Marketing Institute (FMI) has thrown its support behind efforts by the Merchant Advisory Group (MAG) to bring together all stakeholders in the payments chain to develop a one safe and secure payment standard.

    MAG’s payments roadmap makes strong recommendations to mitigate fraud against U.S. electronic payments. The recommendations pool constructive input from all stakeholders to create a system that’s not only safe and secure for cardholders, but also fair and transparent for businesses and consumers, according to FMI. Mindful of the challenges ahead as the United States shifts to Chip card technology, the roadmap highlights areas for collaboration.

    “With recent announcements by the card networks, and more anticipated this spring, it is evident that Chip cards are coming to the United States,” noted Liz Garner, director of government relations for Arlington, Va.-based FMI. “Any investment in Chip card technology that doesn’t require issuers to enable a PIN option on their cards would be of great concern to our industry.”

    The grocery industry accounts for 39 percent of PIN debit volume in the United States, Pulse research shows. Food retailers contend that a PIN number is key to validating a customer’s identity at checkout.

    “The grocery industry is an extremely important stakeholder in the retail payments chain, and it is imperative we have a seat at the table, along with other merchants, when the U.S. standards and timelines for Chip cards are being developed,” said Garner. “Since a grocery store may have five or 10 or 20 different checkout lanes to serve its customers, when the payments rules and infrastructure in this country change, it can become a significant investment for businesses of all sizes.”
     

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