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Payments & More - Allyiz Show
Episode 6: MRC - Advocacy for a better future in the Payments sector | Úna Dillon

Una audiogram still.jpg

Tune in to this episode of the Payments & More podcast with host Nico as he chats with payment professionals about their business journeys and lessons learned. Don’t miss out on the stories and perspectives they share that will shed light on what’s hot in the payment space. Today’s guest is Úna Dillon who has over 25 years of experience in payments. She is the current MD Europe and Vice President of Global Expansion & Advocacy at Merchant Risk Council, a unique global organization for e-commerce payments professionals. We will have great takeaways from Úna in this episode including the state of the payments sector, major concerns for stakeholders and the future of the payment industry. We will also have the opportunity to win a trip for two to Ibiza and find out some of Úna’s best kept secrets!

To begin, Nico gives an overview of Úna’s career path.  She began in chargebacks at Elavon, then became General Manager of Irish-based debit card scheme Laser Card Services, leading to her current position of 6 years leading MRC Europe. 350 of the largest merchants in the world are members of the MRC, 100% of them being babies when first joining the market. Their aim is to provide education regarding fraud and risk and to facilitate networking amongst their clients. Úna explains MRC as a community comprising various smaller communities, such as luxury goods and gaming industries. They also offer mentor programs and an education platform with courses on payments, fraud, chargebacks, etc. Included in MRC’s program offerings are free content for non-members, which you can find on their website linked below.


Before MRC, Úna ran the national debit card scheme in Ireland. She noticed a gap in terms of how Ireland was handling card payments in comparison to the U.K. She developed the card payments service IPSO, driving things like chip and pin rollout and leading SEPA implementation. Úna is a person who likes to always keep her finger on the pulse and knowing what’s coming next.


MRC can facilitate non-competitive discussions around changes happening in the industry. Cost, user experience, revenue, changes, and regulations are amongst the common concerns of merchants. Because of the changing exchange rates as a result of Brexit, many merchants will be forced to pay millions more than they have been before. Consumer authentication is also a growing concern with many new merchants emerging on the market in the previous year. Merchants are searching for better payment methods such as buy now, pay later.


Then, Úna shares her predictions for the industry in the next 5 years. She believes data will continue in its value and present security concerns, consumer authentication will be huge, though payment regulation will be easier.


Nico takes a break for the Golden Minute in this episode to hear how Úna would address a payment regulator conference as the President of the European Commission. She would urge them to see the bigger picture of regulations and recognize the other entities out there rather than just the banks. The conversation takes a more personal note as Úna shares her college experience and her first post-grad job at a bank in Dublin and her secret passion for classical singing. 


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0:48 - Úna Dillon introduced

2:10 - Úna welcomed on

3:16 - How Úna got started in the industry

4:05 - Explanation of MRC and their offerings

10:05 - Praise for Úna

11:18 - Úna’s time with the national debit card scheme in Ireland

15:35 - Biggest concerns of merchants right now

22:00 - Trends and new solutions emerging in the market

24:40 - Úna’s predictions for the industry in the next 5 years

27:11 - AI regulations and fraud prevention

29:08 - Golden minute

32:00 - Personal note

37:15 - Closing words and Úna’s advice



About Úna Dillon

Úna is VP of Global Expansion and Merchant Advocacy at the MRC. Having worked in the payments industry for more than 25 years, she has chaired industry working groups at European level, ran Laser Card (the Irish national debit card scheme) for 12 years, and was responsible for driving the development of policy on major initiatives such as SEPA. She was recently appointed to the European Commission Payment Systems Market Expert Group (PSMEG) to advise on regulatory policies on payments and payment fraud prevention. Here she brings the Voice of the Merchant to the European Payments Regulator’s table.


Connect with Úna Dillon on LinkedIn.



About the MRC | Merchant Risk Council

The MRC is a global membership organization connecting eCommerce fraud and payments professionals through educational programs, online forums, career development, conferences, and networking events. 


Connect with the MRC on LinkedIn



About Allyiz

Allyiz (pronounced allies) is the “go-to” company for payments experts for businesses who want to source knowledge, time or people. Allyiz distinguishes ourselves from consultancies by bringing the expertise and experience of professionals who have successfully run the function on the business side and have done it well many times. We run short projects and deliver actionable results.


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Email Allyiz or leave us your comment on LinkedIn on what questions you’d like answered, suggestions on people to interview, or any other thoughts you have!

Payments & MoreEpisode 6
00:00 / 01:04
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