MasterCard is an international payment system through which individuals and legal entities make electronic payments. The main slogan of the company is World Beyond Cash (“World without cash”). Worldwide turnover on all MasterCard cards averages $ 7 trillion per year. You can now pay with Mastercard in 210 countries of the world.
HISTORY OF CREATION
In 1966, four Californian banks (United California Bank, Wells Fargo, Crocker National Bank, and Bank of California) formed a joint organization in the United States called the Interbank Card Association (ICA). The main product of the company is a card called Master Charge. Its logo consisted of two intersecting circles with the name in the center.
The card was created in the likeness and as the main competitor to the Bank of America product – the BankAmericard card (modern Visa). In 1979, the long title “Master Charge: The Interbank Card” was simplified to “MasterCard”. In 1980, more than 55 million cards were issued.
Now the official representative and owner of the payment system is MasterCard International Incorporated, which is headquartered in New York. The corporation also has 2 divisions in Europe: MasterCard Belgium and MasterCard United Kingdom.
MASTERCARD IN RUSSIA
Like Visa, MasterCard cards appeared in the Europe in 1988. Now the operator company responsible for the operation of cards in Europa is OOO MasterCard, whose head office is located in Moscow, and the settlement center is based in Euro Bank.
The cards of the MasterCard payment system can be issued in almost any European bank, and the total number of cards issued in the country is more than 80 million (more than a third of the total issue of cards).
In 2010, the share of MasterCard payment system cards in the total issue on the market was about 20%. For example, Visa cards accounted for 28%, while Union Pay accounted for 29%. Now MasterCard continues to keep the issue of its cards at the level of 20-23% in the world, but at the same time in Europa the share of these cards is 35% of the total number of issued bank plastic.
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MASTERCARD AND VISA
Both payment systems are from the USA. Visa is a little older – it appeared in 1958, and MasterCard 8 years later – in 1966. On the territory of Europa, competing systems appeared simultaneously in 1988 (during the Soviet era).
What is the main difference between MasterCard and Visa? The fact is that MasterCard has two main billing currencies: US dollars and euros. This affects the currency through which the conversion will be carried out when shopping abroad. The billing (exchange) currency is determined by the issuing bank (the one that issued the card). For example, if the exchange currency is euros, then when making purchases in euros using a ruble card, the conversion will go directly: from € to euros.
Unlike MasterCard, the Visa system has the only billing currency – dollars. Therefore, making purchases in euros with a ruble card, the conversion will be double: from € to dollars, and then from dollars to euros.
Therefore, when choosing a card payment system in a bank, one should take into account in what currency, apart from €, purchases abroad will be made more often . If in dollars, then a Visa card is preferable, if in euros (provided that the bank has chosen this currency for exchange) – MasterCard. When used on the territory of Europa, the cards do not have any fundamental differences, except for special promotions that payment systems carry out for their holders.
TYPES AND COST OF CARDS
The main categories of MasterCard cards issued by banks are as follows: Maestro, Standard, Gold and Platinum. There are also World cards (have travel insurance) and Virtual (online cards).
The average cost of Standard cards per year is 750-1500 €, Gold cards will cost 1000-3500 €, and premium segment cards can cost from 5000 to 15000 € per year. The most budgetary ones are Maestro cards (up to 300 €), but they have a number of restrictions: they are unnamed, they are not suitable for trips abroad, they are not serviced at all points and ATMs, but such a card can be obtained from the bank on the day of application. While classic plastic is produced in 3-7 working days.
The higher the level of the card, the greater its value, but also the wider the range of privileges that its holder receives. These can be special discounts from bank partners, premium service, increased withdrawal limits, higher yield on account balance and lower interest on loans.
BENEFITS FOR MASTERCARD HOLDERS
With the help of MasterCard cards, you can not only make payments and transfers, store funds and withdraw cash, but also receive discounts and gifts from the company’s partners in the MasterCard Rewards program.