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MasterCard Confirms Global Leadership In Smart Cards

OneSMART MasterCard® Enables Rapid Smart Card Implementation

Toronto, June 24, 2003 – MasterCard is the global leader in smart cards with more than 127 million issued worldwide. More than half of these cards carry value-added applications like loyalty, digital ID, e-ticketing, e-coupons, and personal data storage.

As part of its leadership in the smart cards sector, MasterCard created OneSMART®, a global program to provide its member financial institutions with technological and marketing support to launch smart cards. As part of the program, MasterCard offers pre-configured smart card packages that enable members to get to market faster.

"As a customer-driven organization, we do not mandate terms, conditions and timelines for chip migration to our members," said Walt Macnee, president, MasterCard Canada. "Instead, we work with our member financial institutions to enact plans for chip migration according to their business needs and to the unique context of their individual markets. In other words, we're ready now for when they're ready to go to chip."

MasterCard views chip as a "fit for purpose" technology that works best in situations where there are mutual benefits for card issuers, acquirers, merchants and cardholders. As a result, MasterCard has not issued a global mandate to achieve market migration to chip by a set date. Instead, MasterCard's regional operations are working with their members on chip migration according to when and where it makes sense for their local requirements.

MasterCard's hands-on approach is designed to help members and vendor partners through the decision, preparation, solutions development, implementation and roll-out phases of their card programs, providing comprehensive support and technical expertise at every step along the way. MasterCard’s approach differs from others in the industry who provide only a pre-packaged set of smart card applications and technology, thus limiting issuers’ ability to customize and differentiate their programs and services.

MasterCard is a worldwide leader in securing payment card transactions and protecting consumers from fraudulent card activity. MasterCard develops and supports innovative technologies that protect consumers and merchants from card fraud and unsafe transactions when purchasing products or services – whether it is face-to-face, by phone and mail, or over the Internet. Also, through its many fraud-fighting and education programs, MasterCard proactively works with its members, the industry and the public to build consumer confidence and increase the security of transactions.

MasterCard’s Zero Liability Policy also ensures that if a consumer’s MasterCard card number is used to make a fraudulent or unauthorized purchase, that consumer is not held responsible for that purchase.

"Chip will one day replace magnetic stripes as the technology that powers MasterCard cards in Canada," said Mr. Macnee. "But the timing of that shift and the approach will be defined by the market drivers of our local members. As they establish their business models, they can immediately begin implementation by using MasterCard's knowledge and programs. MasterCard is already active in smart card implementation in Asia/Pacific, Europe, Latin America and Middle East where higher telecommunications and transaction processing costs drove an earlier move to smart cards than in North America."

About MasterCard International
MasterCard International is a leading global payments solutions company that provides a broad variety of innovative services in support of our global members’ credit, deposit access, electronic cash, business-to-business and related payment programs. MasterCard International manages a family of well-known, widely accepted payment cards brands including MasterCard®, Maestro® and Cirrus® and serves financial institutions, consumers and businesses in over 210 countries and territories. The MasterCard award-winning Priceless® advertising campaign is now seen in 96 countries and in 45 languages, giving the MasterCard brand a truly global reach and scope. For more information go to