Corporate logo used 2006–present. It is not used on the cards themselves.
|Traded as||NYSE: MA
S&P 500 Component
|Founded||1966as Interbank/Master Charge|
|Headquarters||MasterCard International Global Headquarters
Purchase, New York, United States
|Key people||Richard N. Haythornthwaite
Ajaypal Singh Banga (President & CEO)
|Products||Credit cards, payment systems|
|Revenue||US$ 7.391 billion (2012)|
|Operating income||US$ 3.937 billion (2012)|
|Net income||US$ 2.759 billion (2012)|
|Total assets||US$ 12.462 billion (2012)|
|Total equity||US$ 6.917 billion (2012)|
MasterCard Incorporated (NYSE: MA) is an American multinational financial services corporation headquartered in the MasterCard International Global Headquarters, Purchase, New York, United States. The Global Operations Headquarters is located in O'Fallon, Missouri, United States, a suburb of Saint Louis, Missouri. Throughout the world, its principal business is to process payments between the banks of merchants and the card issuing banks or credit unions of the purchasers who use the "MasterCard" brand debit and credit cards to make purchases. MasterCard Worldwide has been a publicly traded company since 2006. Prior to its initial public offering, MasterCard Worldwide was a cooperative owned by the 25,000+ financial institutions that issue its branded cards.
MasterCard, originally known as Interbank/Master Charge, was created by several California banks as a competitor to the BankAmericard issued by Bank of America, which later became the Visa credit card issued by Visa Inc.. In 1966-1979, it was called "Interbank" and "Master Charge".
The original banks behind MasterCard were United California Bank (later First Interstate Bank and subsequently merged into Wells Fargo Bank), Wells Fargo, Crocker National Bank (also subsequently merged into Wells Fargo), and the Bank of California (subsequently merged into the Union Bank of California).
In 1966, the aforementioned group of California banks formed the Interbank Card Association (ICA). With the help of New York's Marine Midland Bank, now HSBC Bank USA, these banks joined with the ICA to create "Master Charge: The Interbank Card". The card was given a significant boost in 1969, when First National City Bank joined, merging its proprietary Everything Card with Master Charge.
In 1968, MasterCard International and Eurocard started a strategic alliance, which effectively allowed MasterCard access to the European market, and for Eurocard to be accepted on the MasterCard network. The Access card system from the United Kingdom joined the MasterCard/Eurocard alliance in 1972.
In 1979, "Master Charge: The Interbank Card" was renamed simply "MasterCard". In the early 1990s MasterCard then bought the British Access card and the Access name was dropped. In 2002, MasterCard International merged with Europay International SA, another large credit-card issuer association, which for many years issued cards under the name Eurocard.
In 2006, MasterCard International underwent another name change to MasterCard Worldwide. This was done in order to suggest a more global scale of operations. In addition, the company introduced a new corporate logo adding a third circle to the two that had been used in the past (the familiar card logo, resembling a Venn diagram, remains unchanged). A new corporate tagline was introduced at the same time: "The Heart of Commerce".
In 2012, MasterCard announced the expansion of its mobile contactless payments program, including markets across the Middle East.
Debit card swipe fee price fixing
Both MasterCard and Visa have paid approximately $3 billion in damages resulting from a class-action lawsuit filed by Hagens Berman in January 1996. The litigation cites several retail giants as plaintiffs, including Wal-Mart, Sears, Roebuck & Co., and Safeway.
Antitrust settlement with U.S. Justice Department
In October 2010, Visa and MasterCard reached a settlement with the U.S. Justice Department in another antitrust case. The companies agreed to allow merchants displaying their logos to decline certain types of cards (because interchange fees differ), or to offer consumers discounts for using cheaper cards.
Payment Card Interchange Fee and Merchant Discount Antitrust Litigation
On 27 November 2012, a federal judge entered an order granting preliminary approval to a proposed settlement to a class-action lawsuit filed in 2005 by merchants and trade associations against MasterCard, Visa, and many credit card issuers. The suit was filed due to price fixing and other anti-competitive trade practices employed by MasterCard and Visa. A majority of named-class plaintiffs have objected and vowed to opt out of the settlement. Opponents object to provisions that would bar future lawsuits and even prevent merchants from opting out of significant portions of the proposed settlement. Stephen Neuwirth, a lawyer representing Home Depot, said, “It’s so obvious Visa and MasterCard were prepared to make a large payment because of the scope of the releases being given. It’s all one quid pro quo and merchants like the Home Depot are being denied the chance to opt out of that quid pro quo and say this is a bad deal.” 
Plaintiffs allege that Visa, MasterCard, and major credit card issuers engaged in a conspiracy to fix interchange fees, also known as swipe fees, that are charged to merchants for the privilege of accepting payment cards at artificially high levels. In their complaint, the plaintiffs also alleged that the defendants unfairly interfere with merchants from encouraging customers to use less expensive forms of payment such as lower-cost cards, cash, and checks. 
The settlement provides for the cash equivalent of a 10 basis-point reduction (0.1 percent) of swipe fees charged to merchants for a period of eight months. This eight-month period would probably begin in the middle of 2013. The total value of the settlement will be about $7.25 billion.
Anti-trust issues in the United States
MasterCard, along with Visa, engaged in systematic parallel exclusion against American Express during the 1980s and 1990s. MasterCard used exclusivity clauses in its contracts and blacklists to prevent banks from doing business with American Express. Such exclusionary clauses and other written evidence was used by the United States Department of Justice in regulatory actions against MasterCard and Visa. 
Anti-trust investigations in Europe
The European Union has repeatedly criticized MasterCard for monopolistic trade practices. In April 2009, MasterCard reached a settlement with the European Union in an antitrust case, promising to reduce debit card swipe fees to 0.2 percent of purchases. In December 2010, a senior official from the European Central Bank called for a break-up of the Visa/Mastercard duopoly by creation of a new European debit card for use in the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA).
WikiLeaks published documents showing that American authorities lobbied Russia to defend the interests of Visa and MasterCard. In response MasterCard's blocked payments to WikiLeaks. Members of the European Parliament expressed concern that payments from European citizens to a European corporation could apparently be blocked by the United States, and called for a further reduction in the dominance of Visa and MasterCard in the European payment system.
As of 2013, MasterCard is under investigation by the European Union for the high fees it charges tourists who use their cards in Europe, and other anti-competitive practices that could hinder electronic commerce and international trade, and high fees associated with premium credit cards. The EU's competition regulator said that these fees were of special concern because of the growing role of non-cash payments. MasterCard charges non-European tourists much more than customers using cards issued in Europe. MasterCard could be fined up to 10 percent of its 2012 revenue or around $740 million. MasterCard was banned from charging fees on cross-border transactions conducted wholly within the EU via a ruling by the European Commission in 2007. 
The European Consumer Organisation (BEUC) praised the action against MasterCard. BEUC said interbank fees push up prices and hurt consumers. BEUC Director General Monique Goyens said, ""So in the end, all consumers are hit by a scheme which ultimately rewards the card company and issuing bank." 
Regulatory action in Australia and New Zealand
In 2003, the Reserve Bank of Australia required that interchange fees be dramatically reduced, from about 0.95% of the transaction to approximately 0.5%. One notable result has been the reduced use of reward cards and increased use of debit cards. Australia also prohibited the "no surcharge" rule, a policy established by credit card networks like Visa and MasterCard to prevent merchants from charging a credit card usage fee to the cardholder. A surcharge would mitigate or even exceed the merchant discount paid by a merchant, but would also make the cardholder more reluctant to use the card as the method of payment. Australia has also made changes to the interchange rates on debit cards and has considered abolishing interchange fees altogether.
As of November 2006, New Zealand was considering similar actions, following a Commerce Commission lawsuit alleging price-fixing by Visa and MasterCard. In New Zealand, merchants pay a 1.8% fee on every credit card transaction.
Blocking payments to WikiLeaks
In December 2010, MasterCard blocked all payments to WikiLeaks due to claims that they engage in illegal activity. In a response a group of online activists calling themselves "Anonymous" organised a denial-of-service attack, as a result the MasterCard website experienced downtime on December 8–9, 2010. On December 9, 2010 the servers of MasterCard underwent a massive attack as part of an Operation Avenge Assange for closing down payments of whistleblowing platform WikiLeaks. According to several news sites, security of thousands of credit cards was compromised during that attack due to a phishing-site set up by the attackers. However, MasterCard denied this, stating that "cardholder account data has not been placed at risk". WikiLeaks spokesman said: “We neither condemn nor applaud these attacks."U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay said that closing down credit lines for donations to WikiLeaks "could be interpreted as an attempt to censor the publication of information, thus potentially violating WikiLeaks' right to freedom of expression".
The company that enables WikiLeaks to accept credit and debit card donations said it would take legal action against Visa Europe and MasterCard.Iceland-based IT firm DataCell said it would move immediately to try to force the two companies to resume allowing payments to the website. DataCell had earlier[when?] said that suspension of payments towards WikiLeaks is a violation of the agreements with their customers. On July 14, 2011 DataCell announced they had filed a complaint with the European Commission claiming the closure by Visa and MasterCard of Datcell‘s access to the payment card networks violated the competition rules of the European Community.
On 12 July 2012 a Reykjavík court ruled that Valitor, Visa and Mastercard's partner in Iceland, had to start processing donations within fourteen days on pain of daily fines to the amount of ISK 800,000 (some $6000) for each day after that time, to open the payment gateway. Valitor also had to pay DataCell's litigation costs of ISK 1,500,000.
Prepaid debit cards
MasterCard, Comerica Bank, and the U.S. Treasury Department teamed up in 2008 to create the Direct Express Debit MasterCard prepaid debit card. The federal government uses the Express Debit product to issue electronic payments to people who do not have bank accounts, who are often referred to collectively as the “unbanked”. Comerica Bank is the issuing bank for the debit card.
MasterCard's current advertising campaign tagline is "Priceless". The slogan associated with the campaign is "There are some things money can't buy. For everything else, there's MasterCard." The Priceless campaign in more recent iterations has been applicable to both MasterCard's credit card and debit card products. They also use the Priceless description to promote products such as their "priceless travel" site which features deals and offers for MasterCard holders, and "priceless cities", offers for people in specified locations.
The first of these Priceless ads was run during the 1997 World Series and there are numerous different TV, radio and print ads. It was idealized by Stewart Emery. MasterCard registered Priceless as a trademark. Actor Billy Crudup has been the voice in the US market; in the UK, actor Jack Davenport is the voice. The original idea and concept of the campaign stems from the advertising agency of McCann Erickson (as it was named in 1997.
The purpose of the campaign is to position MasterCard as a friendly credit card company with a sense of humor, as well as respond to the public's worry that everything is being commodified and that people are becoming too materialistic.
Many parodies have been made using this same pattern, especially on Comedy Central, though MasterCard has threatened legal action, contending that MasterCard views such parodies as a violation of its rights under the federal and state trademark and unfair competition laws, under the federal and state anti-dilution laws, and under the Copyright Act. Despite these claims, however, noted US consumer advocate and presidential candidate Ralph Nader emerged victorious (after a four-year battle) in the suit MasterCard brought against him after he produced his own "Priceless" political commercials. In the election ads Nader had criticized the corporate financing of both the Bush and Gore campaigns. Using the theme and some of the language behind the MasterCard "Priceless" campaign the election specified the dollar amounts contributed by corporate interests to both candidates and then summed it up with "finding out the truth ... priceless". MasterCard sued Nader's campaign committee and filed a temporary restraining order to stop the ads. The TRO was not granted and Nader defended the ads by claiming they were protected under the fair use doctrine.
Through a partnership with an Internet company that specializes in personalized shopping, MasterCard introduced a Web shopping mall on April 16, 2010 that it said can pinpoint with considerable accuracy what its cardholders are likely to purchase. The MasterCard MarketPlace site relies on technology developed by Next Jump, a company that monitors customer behavior from thousands of retailers and uses the data it gathers to help merchants tailor their product offerings.
Mastercard engages in the sponsorship of major sporting events throughout the world. These include the New Zealand All Blacks the country's rugby team, the UEFA Champions League, the PGA Tour's Arnold Palmer Invitational Presented by Mastercard, the Canadian Hockey League's Memorial Cup and recently announced a new sponsorship deal with Australian Cricket team and is also the founding sponsor of IPL cricket team Mumbai Indians.
Previously it also sponsored FIFA World Cup but withdrew its contract after a court settlement and its rival Visa took up the contract in 2007. In 1997, MasterCard was the main sponsor of the MasterCard Lola Formula One team, which withdrew from the 1997 Formula One season after its first race due to financial problems.
Management and Board of Directors
Key executives include:
As of December 2004, the following banks are represented on MasterCard's board of directors:
MasterCard PayPass is an EMV compatible, "contactless" payment feature based on the ISO/IEC 14443 standard that provides cardholders with a simpler way to pay by tapping a payment card or other payment device, such as a phone or key fob, on a point-of-sale terminal reader rather than swiping or inserting a card. Currently for values up to £20.
In 2003, MasterCard concluded a nine-month PayPass market trial in Orlando, Florida with JPMorgan Chase, Citibank, and MBNA. More than 16,000 cardholders and more than 60 retailer locations participated in the market trial. In addition, MasterCard worked with Nokia, AT&T Wireless, and JPMorgan Chase to incorporate MasterCard PayPass into mobile phones using Near Field Communication technology, in Dallas, Texas. PayPass is expected to be integrated into mobile phones soon. In 2005, MasterCard began to roll out PayPass in certain markets.
MasterCard operates Banknet, a global telecommunications network linking all MasterCard card issuers, acquirers, and data processing centers into a single financial network. The operations hub is located in St. Louis, Missouri. Banknet uses the ISO 8583 protocol.
MasterCard's network differs significantly from Visa's. Visa's is a star-based system where all endpoints terminate at one of several main data centers, where all transactions are processed centrally. MasterCard's network is an edge-based, peer-to-peer network where transactions travel a meshed network directly to other endpoints, without the need to travel to a single point. This allows MasterCard's network to be much more resilient, in that a single failure cannot isolate a large number of endpoints.
- "MasterCard Incorporated Reports Fourth-Quarter and Full-Year 2012 Financial Results". NASDAQ.
- "Master Card Milestones". Milestones/Mastercard. MasterCard. Retrieved September 20, 2011.
- Jay Loomis (June 28, 2006). "MasterCard changing name". The Journal News.
- Chris Spillane (August 19, 2010). "MasterCard to Acquire DataCash for 333 Million Pounds". Bloomberg.
- Sean Farrell (Aug 20, 2010). "MasterCard to Acquire DataCash for 333 Million Pounds". The Independent (London).
- Rima Ali Al Mashni (March 7, 2012). "QNB Group, Qtel, Oberthur and MasterCard introduce first mobile Near Field Communication payments program in Qatar". AME Info.
- Visa/MasterCard Litigation, January 1, 1996
- www.inrevisacheckmastermoneyantitrustlitigation.com. Retrieved July 13, 2011.
- Vanek, Stacey. (October 4, 2010) Visa, Mastercard settlement means more flexibility for merchants | Marketplace From American Public Media. marketplace.publicradio.org. Retrieved July 13, 2011.
- europa.eu. europa.eu.[dead link]
- [dead link]
- (French) http://www.lepoint.fr/monde/russie-wikileaks-visa-et-mastercard-au-coeur-de-troublantes-revelations-08-12-2010-1272689_24.php
- Zorgen over dominantie Visa en Mastercard in Europa – Nieuws – TROUW. www.trouw.nl (February 28, 2011). Retrieved July 13, 2011.
- McCullagh, Declan. (December 9, 2010) MasterCard pulls plug on WikiLeaks payments | Privacy Inc. – CNET News. news.cnet.com. Retrieved July 13, 2011.
- Addley, Esther (December 8, 2010). "MasterCard site partially frozen by hackers in WikiLeaks 'revenge'". The Guardian (London).
- The Register.
- MasterCard Deemed Unsafe? 'Anonymous' WikiLeaks Supporters Claim Privacy Breach. Huffington Post. December 18, 2010. Retrieved July 13, 2011.
- "Wikileaks 'data war' gathers pace". BBC News. December 7, 2010.
- [dead link]
- UN rights chief concerned about pressure on WikiLeaks < Swiss news | Expatica Switzerland. expatica.com. Retrieved July 13, 2011.
- News – DataCell – Coolest Datacenter on the Planet. DataCell (March 24, 2011). Retrieved July 13, 2011.
- "DataCell files a complaint with the European Commission", datacell.com, July 14, 2011. Retrieved 5 Augusti 2012.
- "Tvingas öppna för Wikileaksdonationer" (Swedish) Sveriges Television, 12 July 2012. Retrieved 30 July 2012.
- "Judgement Reykjavík District Court, 12 July 2012 in case number E-561/2012: Datacell ehf.", English translation of judgment. Retrieved 9 November 2012.
- WikiLeaks Wins Icelandic Court Battle Against Visa for Blocking Donations | Threat Level. Wired.com.
- “Federal government chooses direct deposit and prepaid cards over mailing checks”, BankCreditNews, 15 Apr 2013, Accessed 22 Apr 2013
- Priceless Travel. MasterCard. Retrieved July 13, 2011.
- MasterCard Priceless Cities. Mastercard.co.uk (August 30, 2012).
- Priceless Film Festival. www.priceless.com. Retrieved July 13, 2011.
- As a consultant, he asked questions that led MasterCard to its legendary “Priceless” campaign.Whartonsp.com
- Priceless, Trademark Electronic Search System. Retrieved July 5, 2006.
- Source: http://www.allbusiness.com/marketing-advertising/4183437-1.html#ixzz1cC0qvBBD.
- Priceless, Jim Farrell, New American Dream. Retrieved July 5, 2006.
- Threats of legal action: MasterCard International (April 9, 2001). "Re: MasterCard/Infringement by Netfunny.com web site". Retrieved July 30, 2006.
- George B. Daniels, District Judge (March 9, 2004). "Decision of the US District Court in the case of MasterCard International Incorporated v. Ralph Nader" (PDF). US District Court, Southern District of New York. Retrieved July 30, 2006.
- Lawgeek story. Lawgeek.typepad.com (March 9, 2004).
- Martin, Andrew (April 8, 2010). "MasterCard Set to Open an Online Shopping Mall". The New York Times.
- Promotion All Blacks. Mastercard. Retrieved July 13, 2011.
- Official website for the Arnold Palmer Invitational Presented by Mastercard. Arnoldpalmerinvitational.com. Retrieved July 13, 2011.
- "Mastercard is founding sponsor of Mumbai Indians". IndianTelevision.com. Retrieved April 27, 2008.
- Visa signs $170m deal with Fifa Visa signs $170m deal with Fifa. BBC News (June 28, 2007). Retrieved July 13, 2011.
- "Contact Us." MasterCard. Retrieved February 2, 2011. "MasterCard Advisors 2000 Purchase Street Purchase, NY 10577."
- MasterCard Investor Relations. Retrieved March 6, 2009.
- Bilton, Nick (May 27, 2011). "Waiting for the New Mobile Payments Frontier". The New York Times. Retrieved May 31, 2011.
- PDF Fact Sheet from MasterCard website. Retrieved April 4, 2013.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: MasterCard|
- Official website
- Corporate website
- Merchant website
- Business website
- How MasterCard works (interactive site)
- Mastercard Priceless Travel site