MAC Alert FAQs

Have a question about MAC Alerts?  This is the place to start!

This resource is currently under development.  If you have suggestions or additional questions you want to see on this page, please contact us.  Together we can make MAC stronger. 

About Alerts

MAC Alerts are a benefit of membership in MAC. Alerts harken back to some of the earliest days of MAC and why the organization was created.  It provides a mechanism for members to share information with peers in the industry in support of our efforts to maintain the integrity of the payment ecosystem. Over the years additional Alert categories have been added, and MAC Alerts were sometimes referred to as "Forms."

At a high level, a member selects an Alert category (see subsequent question) and fills out the related form. The forms are moderated by volunteers who check for compliance with our antitrust compliance program and other requirements.  Once reviewed, the forms are released to members who have access to that Alert category. 

Updates to the MAC Alerts Community

With this update, there are several significant changes to MAC Alerts.  We are testing some features members have asked for in the past, such as retaining alerts in some categories.  The new environment provides opportunities to add new features in the future and more easily manage member access.  In the future we can also add additional areas to support committees, special interest groups, and other member subsets.  

Here is a more complete list of some of the changes to expect:

  • The MAC Alerts community uses a third-party provider with enhanced functionality and security to implement this benefit.  When you go to alerts you will be redirected to alerts.macmember.org.  
  • Alert categories that are open to all members (unrestricted alerts) will now retain past posts.  
  • Members can respond to unrestricted alert categories and see the responses of others.
  • We will introduce some new alert categories and features in the coming year.
  • Changes you make to your profile while in the Alerts area will not port back to your main MAC account at this time.  Changes made to your main MAC account profile may take up to 24 hours to appear in your Alerts area profile.
  • MAC will utilize the banners on macmember.org to provide notifications on the status of the Alert system.
  • Three old alert categories were retired and will change to new direct message options.  These are "Ask MAC", "Ask MAC Moderators" and "FTC Alerts".  As soon as the new mechanism to manage these tasks are ready, we will make them available on the alerts.macmember.org site or on the main MAC Alerts page..

While it may seem like everything changed, some things are still the same.  Here are a list of some of the aspects of Alerts that are unchanged at this time:

  • To adhere to antitrust and other legal requirements, all alerts posts must be moderated and approved before they can be distributed to members.
  • Moderating posts are done by a small group of staff and volunteers.  During some periods, this may create delays in reviewing and posting content.  
  • Some alert categories remain restricted due to the sensitive nature of the content. These categories require an additional application for access.
  • You will only see those Alert categories open to your membership type and profile.
  • Members must log in to the MAC website and be validated as a current member with appropriate rights to access the Alerts community.
  • Most Alert categories still will have forms to submit initial posts to provide standardized content.  Maintaining this feature was a request of existing members and users.
  • Members must still adhere to all legal and antitrust requirements and guidelines before posting or replying to an Alert message.

Access to Alerts - General

MAC Alerts is a benefit for MAC members only.  Our goal is to provide a trusted network for members to communicate with other members on topics of interest to the industry.  If you would like more information on membership in MAC and its benefits, please click here.

After evaluating several options, MAC chose to implement MAC Alerts as a separate system.  It is integrated with our main platform.  In most instances, after the first time logging into MAC Alerts, you should be able to connect to this system in the future with just a single sign-on through the MAC website.  

Yes.  MAC Alerts are on a separate system integrated with our main member platform.  This allows us to provide some additional security as well as new features for members over time.

Email Volume

Yes.  From within the MAC Alerts application, select an alert group (category).  Within that group you can see a button labeled Emails with your current opt-in/out status for that category.  Select that button and you can stop all emails or make other changes to your notifications.

NOTE:  This does not apply to Restricted Alerts (see later entry).

If you opted out of MAC alerts prior to May 3, then yes, you will need to opt out of Alerts a second time.  We were not able to port opt-in/out data from our prior system with other member data.

Yes.  You have a couple of options to reduce email volume from MAC Alerts.  Most of these apply to the "unrestricted" types of alert (see below). 

Option 1:  Member record modification.

As with the prior system, the "restricted alerts" (i.e., MATCH, Fraud Alert, Merchant Info Request and Agent/ISO inquiry) go out when a message is approved.  We are not allowed to retain them, so we cannot group these messages into a daily digest or allow for later search and retrieval on our system.   However, if you currently receive the restricted alerts and do not want to receive them, then we can modify your member record so that you are no longer in that group.

Option 2.  Change your MAC Alert settings.

If you log in to MAC Alerts (either via the MAC website or go to alerts.macmember.org), select "My Account" on the left-hand menu.  You should see an option for "email preferences."  You can change settings to digest daily or weekly or turn off emails completely for different Alert areas.

Note, this will give you an option to change the "restricted alerts" but because of the retention issue, the system will not combine those into a single digest. This is technically the best approach, as it leaves access in control by individual members in the event someone wants to change it again in the future.

Option 3:  Set up an email filter.

All emails coming from alerts should be coming from "[email protected]".  You could set up an email filter to send those to a subfolder so they would bypass your primary inbox.  That would keep messages from your main inbox and retain them for when you are ready to view them.

Types of Alerts

There are currently two main types of alerts: 

Unrestricted:  Open to all Members.  Alerts in these categories will be kept for member review and community responses may also be posted publicly and kept.

Restricted:  Restricted to approved members only based on job role and organization type.  Alerts submitted in these categories are NOT retained in the MAC community and responses go directly to the poster and not to the MAC community.  Members wanting access to these categories must apply and meet the board-approved criteria.

Additional Future Categories:  Additional categories may be added in the future based on member interest or need.  Some categories currently under consideration include:

  • People News -- Announce new hires, promotions, retirements, and job changes
  • SIG-Specific -- Community groups for specific Special Interest Groups (SIGs)
  • User Groups -- User group communities for partner organizations

Open to all Members.  Alerts in these categories will be kept for member review and community responses may also be posted publicly and kept.

  • Ask MAC Members -- A general inquiry to members from members
  • Interesting Articles -- A summary or pointer to a news story or article of interest to members
  • Upcoming Events -- Information on a coming event of interest to members
  • Opportunities (Job Postings) -- Information on a job opportunity

These alerts are restricted to approved members based on job role and organization type.  Alerts submitted in these categories are NOT retained in the MAC community and responses go directly to the poster and not to the MAC community.  Members wanting access to these categories must apply and meet the board-approved criteria.

  • MATCH -- Message reporting a specific fraud incident and coded with a MATCH reason code
  • Alert [Fraud] -- Message warning about a possible or specific fraud incident or pattern
  • Merchant Information Request -- Message requesting information about a specific merchant
  • Agent ISO Inquiry -- Message requesting information about a specific ISO

Restricted alerts are granted by the Membership Committee based on criteria defined by the Board.  They are primarily determined based on a combination of job role and organization type.  If you have additional questions about access to restricted alerts, please contact the Membership Committee.

Other Questions

Yes.  A very general quick guide is available and we are creating one more specific to our environment.  

Partially.  Changes made to your profile on the member compass will migrate over to MAC Alerts when the two systems sync.  For security reasons, we do not allow data from MAC Alerts to modify member data within our main website.  Thus, changes made to your profile in MAC Alerts are only visible within MAC Alerts.