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MasterCard International Reports Double Digit GDV Growth in
Third Quarter of 2004

Worldwide Purchase Volume Up 11.1% for Both Credit and Offline Debit; Canadian Purchase Volume Up 12.7%

Purchase, NY, November 1, 2004 – MasterCard International today announced continued strength in both credit and offline debit, demonstrating double-digit growth globally, despite uncertain economic conditions created by rising oil prices.

Cardholders worldwide used MasterCard-branded cards (excluding Maestro® and Cirrus®) for 4.3 billion transactions, generating gross dollar volume (GDV) of $365.9 billion in the third quarter of 2004, an increase of 10.0% over the same period in 2003. Total purchases on MasterCard credit and offline debit cards increased 11.1% for the three months ending September 30, 2004, as the number of MasterCard cards issued worldwide rose to 656.0 million.

Canadian GDV rose 12.7% for the three months ended September 30 compared to the same period last year, and was up 13% for the first three quarters of the year, compared to the same period last year.

"The third quarter of this year provides further evidence of the continued success of MasterCard and our customers," said Robert W. Selander, MasterCard President and CEO. "Even as macroeconomic factors such as higher fuel prices and sporadic job growth have dampened consumer spending, we continue to see strong purchase activity across our global network. This quarter we saw double-digit purchase volume growth in most areas of the world, reflective of the global power of our brand, the strength of our business partnerships, and the continued migration away from cash and check towards our wide range of payment solutions."

Performance highlights for the third quarter of 2004 include:

  • For the nine months ended September 30, MasterCard GDV totaled $1.0 trillion, up 9.5% over the same period a year ago. GDV includes both purchase and cash volume;
  • MasterCard’s nearly 25,000 customer financial institutions around the world issued 656.0 million MasterCard-branded cards, an 8.0% increase over third quarter 2003;
  • The value of purchases on MasterCard-branded cards, a significant measure of success, continued to show strong growth worldwide. Globally, purchase volume rose 11.1% to $266.8 billion for the third quarter of 2004 compared to the same period in 2003. In the nine months ended September 30, purchase volume rose 12.2%.
  • Currently, cardholders can use their MasterCard cards at 24 million acceptance locations around the world, including over 1 million ATMs and other locations where cash can be obtained.

MasterCard’s performance in the third quarter was fueled by growth in both credit and offline debit programs. GDV for credit and charge programs worldwide grew 8.4% to $298.5 billion, and GDV for offline debit programs rose 17.7% to $67.4 billion over the same period in 2003 (see Note to Editors). Gross transactions for credit and offline debit programs increased by 11.3% in 2004 compared with the third quarter of 2003.

The performance breakdown by region can be viewed here


Significant Milestones Achieved

MasterCard also achieved a wide range of significant business milestones in the third quarter:

  • Bank of the West, which currently serves 450,000 debit card customers and operates 296 branches in California, Oregon, New Mexico, Nevada, Washington State and Idaho, is moving its debit card program, along with the recently- acquired portfolios of Union Safe Deposit Bank and Community First Bankshares, to MasterCard.
  • McDonald's® will accept MasterCard PayPass™, a new "contactless" payment option utilizing radio frequency technology, at select McDonald's restaurants in the U.S. Participating McDonald's restaurants in Dallas and the New York metropolitan area will implement MasterCard PayPass later this year, with additional locations to be added in 2005. The technology will allow cardholders to make purchases at participating McDonald's restaurants without swiping their card through a traditional card-reader.
  • MasterCard implemented a range of new initiatives aimed at providing merchants with new tools that will help them maximize the benefits and value of accepting MasterCard payment cards. This included the launch of, a website for the merchant community that provides information about MasterCard acceptance programs and insight into how to most effectively leverage card acceptance. MasterCard also published a new manual to provide merchants with MasterCard rules and procedures, which can be downloaded free of charge from the MasterCard merchant website.
    MasterCard launched new print advertising executions as part of the brand's successful “Priceless” advertising campaign. For the first time, MasterCard advertising features national merchants as part of the brand's "Priceless" positioning and offers a dynamic new style and layout. The ads focus on several high-profile national merchants, including Banana Republic, The Gap, Kmart, Pier 1, Travelocity, RadioShack, Shell and Williams-Sonoma.
  • MasterCard will jointly launch Industrial Bank's first MasterCard dual-currency international credit card through China UnionPay. The card, called Industrial Card, marks an important milestone for Industrial Bank in its drive to enter the international market. Industrial Bank has 260 branches in almost all major domestic cities across China.

Note to Editors

Online debit activity, which includes MasterCard’s online debit program, Maestro, and MasterCard’s ATM-only brand, Cirrus, will be available at a later date.

The data in this press release is provided by the member financial institutions of MasterCard International Incorporated and its affiliates (“MasterCard”) and is subject to revision and amendment by such members subsequent to the date of its release. A portion of the data relating to accounts and cards reflects the impact of routine portfolio changes among members and other practices that may lead to over counting of the underlying data in certain circumstances. Information with respect to gross dollar volumes ("GDV") includes the impact of balance transfers and convenience checks. The number of cards includes virtual cards, which are MasterCard-branded payment accounts in connection with which functional cards are not generally issued.

Information denominated in U.S. dollars is calculated by applying an established U.S. dollar/local currency exchange rate for each local currency in which MasterCard volumes are reported.

Period-over-period rates of change in volume-based information are provided on a local-currency basis. Accordingly, the period-over-period rates of change in this press release cannot be extrapolated directly by reference to the U.S. dollar volume information presented for the current and historical periods.

MasterCard-branded data regarding GDV, purchase volume, purchase transactions, cash volume and cash transactions is derived from information provided by MasterCard members that is subject to logical and statistical verification by MasterCard and partial cross-checking against information provided by MasterCard’s transaction processing systems. MasterCard-branded data concerning accounts, cards and acceptance locations is derived from information provided by MasterCard members that is subject to certain limited logical and statistical verification by MasterCard. Certain information with respect to acceptance locations is provided by third parties and has not been independently verified by MasterCard.

Cash volume growth for offline debit programs in the U.S. region has increased significantly as a result of stricter enforcement of reporting requirements for certain transactions not processed by MasterCard.

The data in this press release includes information with respect to MasterCard-branded transactions that are not processed by MasterCard and transactions for which MasterCard does not earn revenues. Accordingly, the data in this press release cannot be taken as an indication of the financial performance of MasterCard International or its parent company, MasterCard Incorporated.

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 47 languages, giving the MasterCard brand a truly global reach and scope. For more information go to

Media Contact:
Matt Cram, Environics Communications