What is a SIG?

A SIG is a Strategic Interest Group -- a community within our community that represents a specific sub-interest or segment within MAC's membership that has a focus of strategic interest to MAC, its members, and its mission.

What are SIGs?

Strategic Interest Groups (SIGs) are a great way to network and build connections among a subset of MAC members with a common identity or interest.  SIGs operate in a manner similar to committees but are often more independent or self-directed.

MAC currently has the following SIGs:  

Bank Consortium

The mission of the Bank Consortium is to connect and educate people in the banking industry on issues related to the processing of payments. To help them gain confidence to support the protection of the payments infrastructure, stay in compliance with their obligations as clients of the payment networks, and stay updated on industry best practices.

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Government Relations SIG

The Government Relations (GR) SIG is dedicated to keeping the membership educated and aware of legal and regulatory issues that affect the payments industry. The SIG is also charged with providing advice and counsel to the Board related to public policy and legislative or regulatory advocacy efforts. In 2022 the MAC Board approved elevating the Government Relations (GR) Committee to SIG status.  

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Launching in 2023, the Fraud SIG was one of the most requested new member benefits in our most recent member survey.  This will be a forum for members to gather and share information about fraud trends in payments, and contribute to the education of the membership about those trends.


Why is MAC Creating SIGs?

SIGs provide several advantages for MAC and its members, and align with our current CREATE strategic framework:

C:    They provide a vehicle for members and/or subject matter experts within the membership to easily communicate and collaborate.  We have additional technology resources (via MAC Alerts, MAC Blog, Polls, and other aspects of the MAC Website) to support these communities.
R:    They have potential to create or support non-dues revenue streams for MAC.  This could come in a few forms.  For example, SIGs have the option to charge a member fee to support initiatives or activities of the group (requires Board review and approval).  SIGs may support the creation of new products (e.g., publications like the MAC Pack) or new programs (e.g., a specialty conference, training series, etc.).  SIGs may also support existing MAC events (e.g., Level Up) and MAC membership in general by enhancing their attractiveness and value to MAC members.
E1:   As a community with interest in a topic of strategic importance to MAC members, we look to SIGs to be thought leaders for the MAC community and share educational content with the broader community.  This could be via sessions at MAC conferences, newsletters, blog posts, or other formats.
 A:    SIGs fill a critical function for the future growth and sustainability of MAC:  developing content and visibility of MAC members and their expertise in topics of strategic importance to the payment ecosystem.  MAC’s reputation is based on delivering practical education and doing it well.  SIGs enable us to highlight expertise within the MAC membership and create a stronger voice for MAC on topics and issues of importance to the MAC community.
 T:    SIGs are different from MAC Committees.  They may define their own leadership model and agenda, and have no direct operational obligations to MAC as an organization other than an expectation to contribution educational content in some format.  SIGs may operate under one of two models:
Open: Any member may join, without restrictions. These SIGs are focused more on networking among people with common interest, and are more likely to include a small membership fee to encourage participation among SIG members.  Invitational: Membership may be restricted based on standardized criteria such as industry, participation level, and/or subject matter expertise as long as the criteria are applied consistently and fairly in accordance with MAC’s antitrust compliance guidelines.  These groups further support MAC strategic goals by contributions of content and expertise to the community and are less likely to include a membership fee to participate.  
 E2:   SIGs allow members to engage and provide value to the community without necessarily serving on a traditional committee.  It creates more opportunities for members to engage meaningfully within MAC, network more easily with peers who have common interests, resources to go to when members have questions about a strategic topic area, and more volunteer leadership opportunities to support future succession planning.  We are also looking at opportunities to have special networking events exclusively for SIG members linked to Level Up conferences in the future.

How do we create a new SIG?

So you want to form a new SIG?  Fantastic!  New SIGs are created by submitting an application to the Governance Committee.  A SIG's application becomes the group's charter to guide its successful growth. Staff and volunteers can assist you with the application process.
Hands working together

Applications must include the following information:

  • SIG name.
  • A primary contact person for the application.
  • Explanation of how the proposed SIG fits within MAC's mission and vision.
  • An estimate of the number of potential SIG members.
  • An explanation of how marketing to those potential members will occur.
  • An explanation of how vetting those that apply to be part of the SIG will occur.
  • Explanation of the need for the new SIG, including its specific purpose.
  • The topical areas to be included or encompassed.
  • Description of the pool of committed leadership available to establish and maintain the proposed SIG. 

Upon receipt, MAC's Governance Committee will review the application, request any clarifications, and make a recommendation to the Board of Directors.  The Board will vote on the application and notify the applicants of their decision. 

Do SIGs have rules?

Yes.  SIGs adhere to many of the same policies as MAC Committees. In contrast, SIGs are more independent in that they establish things like goals and activities. There are some policies that apply specifically to MAC SIGs that can be found in Section 2 of the Board's Policy and Procedure Manual

There are three major requirements for SIGs:

  • SIGs are required to have a charter, where they define their mission and focus, and where they may define additional rules or restrictions--such as any restriction on membership.
  • SIGs must also closely monitor potential conflicts of interest and adhere to MAC's antitrust compliance policies.
  • SIGs must remain active, with evidence of leadership, multiple members, regular meetings, and a brief annual report on SIG activities.

For more information, please contact us at [email protected]