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MasterCard Worldwide (NYSE: MA) is an American multinational corporation with its
headquarters in the MasterCard International Global Headquarters in Purchase, New York.
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. The company was created by two entrepreneurs in
Louisville, Ky. named Raymond Tanenhaus and Stanley Benovitz. It was absorbed by the United
California Bank in year 1966. Prior to its initial public offering, MasterCard Worldwide was a
cooperative owned by the 25,000+ financial institutions that issue its card.

MasterCard, originally known as Master Charge, [2] 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. The original banks behind MasterCharge 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).


The 1970s Master Charge card.

First MasterCard logo used from 1979–90.
MasterCard logo used on cards 1997 to present.

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 1979, "Master Charge: The Interbank Card" was renamed simply "MasterCard". In the early
1990s MasterCard 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". [3]


The company, which had been organized as a cooperative of banks, had an initial public offering
on May 25, 2006 at $39.00 USD. The stock is traded on the NYSE under the symbol MA.


Both MasterCard and Visa have paid approximately $3 billion in damages resulting from a class-
action lawsuit filed by Hagens Berman in January 1996.[4] The litigation cites several retail
giants as plaintiffs, including Wal-Mart, Sears Roebuck & Company, and Safeway.[5]

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.[6]

The European Union has repeatedly expressed concern over the dominance of Mastercard. In
April 2009, Mastercard reached a settlement with the European Union in an antitrust case,
promising to reduce debit card payments to 0.2 percent of a purchase.[7] 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).[8] After Mastercard's blocking of payments to WikiLeaks, members of European
Parliament expressed concern that payments from European citizens to a European corporation
could apparently be blocked by America, and called for a further reduction in the dominance of
Visa and Mastercard in the European payment system. [9]

WikiLeaks published documents showing that American authorities lobbied Russia to defend the
interests of Visa and MasterCard.[10]

In December 2010, MasterCard blocked all payments to WikiLeaks due to claims that they
engage in illegal activity.[11] 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.[12] Wikileaks spokesman said: “We neither
condemn nor applaud these attacks."[13] 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".[14] The company that enables Wikileaks to accept credit and debit card
donations says it will take legal action against Visa Europe and Mastercard. [15] IT firm Datacell
said it would move immediately to try to force the two companies to resume allowing payments
to the anti-secrecy website. Iceland-based Datacell had earlier said that suspension of payments
towards Wikileaks is a violation of the agreements with their customers. Visa Europe and
Mastercard have yet to comment on the legal threat. In view of MasterCard's stand on WikiLeaks
crisis, MasterCard has been mocked widely across the internet as users lampooned its distinctive
advertising slogans: "Freedom of speech: priceless. For everything else, there's MasterCard".


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, [16] and
"priceless cities", offers for people in specified locations. [17]

The first of these Priceless ads was run during the World Series in 1997 and there are numerous
different TV, radio and print ads. [18] It was idealized by Stewart Emery.[19] MasterCard registered
Priceless as a trademark.[20] Actor Billy Crudup has been the voice in the US market; in the UK,
actor Jack Davenport is the voice.
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. [21]

Many parodies have been made using this same pattern, especially on Comedy Central, though
MasterCard has threatened legal action,[22] 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. [23]

MasterCard MarketPlace

Through a new partnership with an Internet company that specializes in personalized shopping,
MasterCard introduced a Web shopping mall on April 16, 2010 that it says can pinpoint with
considerable accuracy what its cardholders are likely to purchase.[24]

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.

Sports sponsorships

Mastercard engages in the sponorship of major sporting events throughout the world. These
include the New Zealand All Blacks the country's rugby team,[25] the UEFA Champions League,
the PGA Tour's Arnold Palmer Invitational Presented by Mastercard,[26] 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.[27]

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. [28] and in 1997, MasterCard was the main sponsor
of the aborted MasterCard Lola Formula One team.

On October 12, 2007 MasterCard offered $160,000 to the municipal government of Toronto so
that the city could keep its ice rinks open, as the city was facing a budget shortfall. [29]

Corporate affairs

MasterCard has its headquarters in the MasterCard International Global Headquarters in
Purchase, New York.[30]
Management and Board of Directors

Key executives include:[31]

      Ajay Banga: President and Chief               Chris McWilton: President – US Markets
       Executive Officer                             Michael Michl: Chief Administration
      Robert Reeg: President – Global                Officer
       Technology & Operations                       Wendy Murdock: Chief Franchise Officer
      Alfredo Gangotena: Chief Marketing            Javier Perez: President – Region Head
       Officer – Global Marketing                     MasterCard Europe
      Gary Flood: President – Products &            Vicky Bindra: President – Region Head
       Services                                       Asia/Pacific, Middle East & Africa
      Noah Hanft: General Counsel, Chief            Christopher Thom: Chief Risk Officer –
       Franchise Officer and Corporate                Risk Management
       President – International Markets             Stephanie Voquer: Chief Human
                                                      Resources Officer

As of December 2004, the following banks are represented on MasterCard's board of
directors:[citation needed]

      Europay España, S.A.                          Southern Bank Berhad
      HSBC                                          Bank of Montreal
      Clarima Banca                                 Banque Fédérative du Crédit Mutuel
      Capital One                                   Deutscher Sparkassen- und Giroverband
      Banamex (Citigroup's Mexican division)        Orient Corporation
      Citigroup                                     Bank AL Habib
      Royal Bank of Scotland                        Banco Mercantil
      MBNA America (now Bank of America)            Banesco
      Westpac Banking Corporation


MasterMoney is the branding of a MasterCard debit card distributed in North America. Like
many debit cards, the brand has capabilities of being used as an ATM card as well as a credit
card, providing sufficient funds are in one's bank account (usually a checking account) in order
to complete a transaction.

PayPass RFID chip from a MasterCard.

Mastercard issued by Commonwealth Bank of Australia. Semi transparency shows PayPass antenna,
connecting to RFID chip.

asterCard 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.

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.[32]

In 2005, MasterCard began to roll out PayPass in certain markets. As of September 2011, the
following financial institutions have issued cards that feature MasterCard PayPass:
1.    Viseca Card Service SA (Switzerland)
2.    Westpac (Australia)
3.    Bank of America
4.    Banca Intesa Beograd (Serbia)
5.    Fifth Third Bank (United States)
6.    JPMorgan Chase (available through its "blink" contactless feature in the United States)
7.    Citibank (both MasterCard credit and debit cards)
8.    HSBC Bank USA (debit card only)
9.    Washington Mutual (United States, available on the Debit MasterCard, Gold Debit MasterCard &
      Platinum Debit MasterCards)
10.   Key Bank (United States, debit card only)
11.   Citizens Bank and Charter One Bank (both MasterCard credit and debit cards, switching to Visa
      in fall 2009)
12.   Commonwealth Bank (Australia, notable for featuring it on every MasterCard issued)
13.   Garanti Bank (Turkey, available through its Bonus Trink Card)
14.   Banco de Oro (Philippines, available through its BDO International ATM Card)
15.   Bank of Montreal (Canada, available on most cards issued after November 1, 2007)[33]
16.   President's Choice Financial (Canada)
17.   CIMB Bank (Malaysia)
18.   Bank Zachodni WBK SA (Poland)
19.   Deutsche Kreditbank AG (Germany, issuer of Lufthansa Miles & More credit cards)
20.   Natwest (United Kingdom), on Maestro cards; limited use in the London Docklands and City of
21.   HSBC (United Kingdom), on credit cards; limited use in selected areas of London
22.   Canadian Tire Bank (Canada)[34]
23.   Capital One (Canada)[35]
24.   Barclaycard (United Kingdom)
25.   Shinhan Bank (South Korea)
26.   Alior Bank (Poland)
27.   Poste italiane (Italy)[36]
28.   Banka Koper (Slovenia)
29.   OTP Bank (Hungary, launched in September 2009)
30.   Takarék Bank (Hungary)
31.   Lloyds TSB (United Kingdom)
32.   Banca Popolare dell'Emilia Romagna (Italy, launched in January 2010)
33.   Alfa-Bank (Russia)
34.   mBank (Poland)
35.   MultiBank (Poland)
36.   Citi Handlowy (Poland)
37.   Inteligo (Poland)
38.   BNP Paribas (Poland)
39.   ING Bank Śląski (Poland)
40.   Raiffeisen Bank International (RBI) for Austria (Austria)
41.   Raiffeisen Bank (Poland, Russia)
42.   Getin Noble Bank (Poland)
43.   Polbank EFG (Poland)
44.   Millennium (Poland)
45.   Deutsche Bank PBC (Poland)
   46.   Invest Bank (Poland)
   47.   Dexia banka Slovensko, a.s. (Slovakia, since January 2011)
   48.   Kiwibank (New Zealand, launched September 2011)
   49.   National Bank of Canada (Canada, launched in spring 2009)

A U.S. issued HSBC Debit MasterCard with PayPass can be used in the U.K.


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 is significantly different 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.[citation needed]


MasterCard Europe operated a Network known as EPS-Net – this interfaced Banknet but it was
decommissioned in January 2010. EPS-Net is used to link Issuers and Acquirers for Online
POS/ATM Transaction Processing.

Alleged Security Breach

On December 9, 2010 the servers of Mastercard underwent a massive attack [37] as part of a
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;[38] however, Mastercard denied this,
stating that "cardholder account data has not been placed at risk".

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