Payments and Data Security

Fees associated with the acceptance of payments cards represents the second-highest cost of doing business for most retailers, only behind the cost of labor. In response to skyrocketing costs associated with payment acceptance, NGA is a founding member of the Merchants Payments Coalition, which achieved landmark reforms to debit swipe fees in 2010. Debit reforms lowered the cost of acceptance for debit cards, and introduced competition into the debit routing market that was quickly becoming a duopoly. As part of the MPC, NGA defeated proposals to delay and repeal debit reforms in 2011 and again in 2017. In a rapidly changing payments environment, NGA continues to advocate for reduced acceptance fees and a greater voice in the payments space for retailers.

As new payment options and innovations enter the retail space, NGA and our members are committed to increasing data security. The protection of our customers’ personal and financial information is our foremost concern, and NGA believes that improvements to security protocols should result from an open and collaborative process among all industry stakeholders, where merchants have an equal voice at the table.  We believe that any data and payments standards should require all industries to play by the same rules, including financial institutions, payment processors, and technology providers. We have a collective duty as members of the payments chain to be responsible stewards of our customers’ sensitive information. The independent supermarket industry supports the need for robust federal security standards that hold all actors in the marketplace accountable in order to ensure our customers can shop with confidence.

What NGA is doing in Washington, D.C.

NGA strives to keep our members up to date on the ongoing developments and evolutions in the payments industry. Below is a quick overview of some of our advocacy and government relations efforts related to payments.

Secure Payments Partnership

NGA is a founding member of the Secure Payments Partnership (SPP), a coalition of retail groups and payment networks who are committed to greater security and transparency across the payments system. SPP was formed to anticipate new and better technologies for making payments that are secure and fast. We encourage and support sound policies that improve the payments infrastructure, meet the evolving needs of commerce, and provide convenience and security to businesses and consumers.

Payments Resources

Whether it’s EMV implementation, trying to navigate debit and credit card payments standards, or simply looking for information on best practices to reduce card fraud, please click the links below to learn more.

EMVCo and Chip-Cards


EMV stands for Europay, MasterCard and Visa, the three companies that created the EMV standard in the U.S., which requires the use of chip-cards (debit and credit) and chip-enabled point-of-sale (POS) terminals. EMVCo is the conglomerate that manages and maintains the EMV standards and is comprised of Visa, MasterCard, American Express, JCB, Discover, and UnionPay.

While the shift to chip-cards has been sold by EMVCo as a step forward for credit and debit security, the EMV transition in the U.S. excluded a requirement for a personal identification number (PIN) with each transaction. The U.S. Federal Reserve has previously stated that PINs make transactions 700% more secure. The independent supermarket industry values security and believes that the use of a PIN, in conjunction with EMV chip technology, provides greater security for customers and merchants alike.

Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard

The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is an information security standard for merchants and other businesses that handle branded credit cards from the major card companies and banks. The PCI Standard is mandated by the card brands and administered by the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council. The council was founded in 2006 by American Express, Discover, JCB, MasterCard, and Visa.

Merchant Advisory Group’s Know Your Payments

Every payment system should be as technologically advanced as possible to protect our hard earned money. ​We believe that collaboration​ will drive positive change in the payments industry​, and change begins with education around the complex world of payment systems. Because knowledge is power and power is confidence.​ The Merchant Advisory Group believes​ ​e​very American should be a confident, informed consumer. Every American should "Know Your Payments."

To Learn More Contact:

Robert Yeakel, Director Government Relations: