MasterCard Canada Press Section

35 Years of MasterCard in Canada

Through the company’s roles as a franchisor, processor and advisor, MasterCard develops and markets secure, convenient and rewarding payment solutions, seamlessly processes more than 18 billion payments each year, and provides industry-leading analysis and consulting services that drive business growth for its banking customers and merchants.

In 1966 the brand started out in the United States as the Interbank Card Association (ICA), and became "Master Charge" in 1969. Issuers first began offering cards in Canada in 1973, with the Bank of Montreal being the first. By 1979, the MasterCard brand was introduced worldwide and MasterCard opened its Canadian office in Toronto at the corner of King and Bay in 1993. In 2006, the office moved to the corner of Yonge and Bloor in Toronto.

MasterCard’s world-famous, award-winning “Priceless” advertising campaign was created by McCann-Erickson in 1997 and came to the Canadian marketplace in 2000. Our logo with two interlocking circles symbolizes the MasterCard promise of quality and our complementary relationships.

We are proud to lend our support to programs that reflect what matters to Canadians, from grassroots to professional sponsorships. Since 1999 MasterCard has been a major sponsor of the Canadian Hockey League, title sponsor of the MasterCard Memorial Cup, as well as other sporting associations and professional golf events. MasterCard Canada is also a proud and long-standing supporter of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada.

In 2004 we introduced MasterCard® PayPass™, which uses radio frequency technology to securely transmit payment details wirelessly between the PayPass device and the merchant's terminal. PayPass is ideal for retail environments where speed is essential. Canadians can now use PayPass at Rabba Fine Foods, Cineplex Odeon, Tim Hortons, Petro-Canada, Pioneer Petroleums, select Coca-Cola vending machines, and Loblaw Companies stores across Canada. Later this year Staples, Sobeys and McDonald's Restaurants will also be introducing PayPass. Today there are nearly 44 million MasterCard PayPass cards and devices in use at more than 135,000 merchants worldwide.

As we celebrate our 35th anniversary in Canada, MasterCard will continue to advance global commerce by providing a critical link between financial institutions and millions of businesses, cardholders and merchants worldwide. We would like to thank our cardholders, merchants, customers and partners for 35 wonderful years in Canada.