Interview

Bringing ecommerce professionals together during a time of industry transition – MRC Virtual Conference 2021

Friday 16 April 2021 09:57 CET | Editor: Stefana Ivan | Interview

In this pre-event interview, Julie Fergerson, CEO at the MRC, reflects on the lessons learned during the last year and how those experiences will inform the 2021 MRC Spring Virtual Conference as well as the future of the MRC

Why should people be excited about MRC Spring Virtual 2021? 

The MRC has spent decades ensuring our conferences and events are among the best in the industry, and our virtual conferences are no exception. We are looking forward to welcoming industry veterans from every part of the payments and fraud world and providing them a platform to share new insights on important topics like the ongoing impact of the pandemic, updates on compliance, exciting new technologies, and of course, all the latest in fraud prevention. Just about every relevant industry topic is going to be explored in some capacity. 

Over the last year, we have learned how to deliver premier virtual events, and though they will never replace our face-to-face conferences, we’re confident it’s going to be a seamless and deeply rewarding experience for all of our attendees.

This past year brought unexpected challenges in almost every industry, and ecommerce was no exception. How was the MRC impacted by the unprecedented changes brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic?

Though it was a difficult year in many ways, I’m very proud of our resiliency and adaptability as a team and as an organisation. Challenges like working remotely and migrating to online events were logistically complex, but we came out the other side stronger than ever. 

As we implemented these internal adjustments, we continued working toward our ongoing goal of further building out our member services. We doubled down on many initiatives, such as our on-demand education platform RAPID Edu, which recently received NASBA accreditation. Achieving this high benchmark allows us to offer CPE credits to those who complete our courses. We also continued our relentless advocacy for the voice of the merchant and helped educate our members and move the needle on the constantly shifting regulatory landscape. We will be discussing regulation and compliance in detail at MRC Spring Virtual, and at our upcoming PSD2/SCA Summit

During the last year we continued to refine our other offerings as well; adding more to our extensive resource library, continuing to produce, moderate, and distribute our popular educational webinars, and ensuring our members have everything they need to succeed in this quickly moving industry. Our MRC Communities have been steadily growing and continue to be a place where industry professionals can safely gather to discuss the challenges and solutions they’re encountering every day in payments and fraud prevention. 

What do you think the next year will bring in ecommerce and payments?

I have no doubt the impact of COVID-19 will be felt for a long time. Online sales volume might pull back slightly as brick and mortar slowly recovers, but so many new customers have come to rely on the convenience of online shopping. I don’t foresee sales volume reversing to pre-COVID levels, even as other aspects of the economy get back to ‘normal’.

The downside of that sales volume increase is, of course, a corresponding uptick in fraud. Fortunately, this industry has some of the smartest and most driven people in the world fighting against fraud, and the cutting-edge prevention solutions I’m seeing make me optimistic for the future. I’ve seen some really promising innovations from the Solution Provider community recently, many of which will be showcased during MRC Spring Virtual in our Ignite sessions.

As more companies realise the critical nature of fighting this threat and direct resources toward creative solutions, I’m confident we’ll continue to see progress in 2021 and beyond.

MRC Spring Virtual is an annual payments and fraud prevention conference featuring three days of industry-leading speakers, presentations, networking opportunities, breakout sessions, roundtable discussions, and ecommerce focused education. This year’s virtual event features leading talent from the biggest names in the industry discussing critical issues such as PSD2 compliance, biometrics implementation, fraud prevention, and the ongoing impact of COVID-19. 

Register here to join the virtual conference on 27-29 April 2021.

About Julie Fergerson

Julie Fergerson, CEO of the MRC, has over 25+ years of experience developing, delivering, and promoting Internet-based technologies. She has a proven track record of bringing key stakeholders together to solve difficult problems and positioning existing technology to meet the needs of an audience without changing the fundamental value of that technology. Prior to her appointment as CEO of the MRC, Julie was Senior Vice President of Industry Solutions at Ethoca. 


About Merchant Risk Council

The MRC is a global membership organisation connecting ecommerce fraud and payments professionals through educational programmes, online forums, career development, conferences, and networking events. As a non-profit organisation the MRC encompasses a membership network of over 500 companies, all focused on fraud prevention, payments optimisation, and risk management. The MRC is headquartered in Seattle, Washington.


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Keywords: Julie Fergerson, MRC, COVID-19, ecommerce, merchants
Categories: Payments & Commerce | Ecommerce
Countries: World
This article is part of category

Payments & Commerce