Frequently Asked Questions

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What is MasterCard?
MasterCard International is a global payments company with one of the most recognized and respected brands in the world. We manage a full range of payment programs and services, including MasterCard® credit cards, MasterCard® debit cards, Maestro® online debit cards, Cirrus® ATM cash access, and related programs.
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What are MasterCard primary responsibilities?
Our role is to facilitate transactions among those who use our payment cards, those who accept them, and the member financial institutions that manage these relationships. Together with our member institutions, we provide the infrastructure to ensure that these payments transactions are completed with a virtually 100 percent success rate. We establish standards and procedures for the acceptance and settlement of member transactions on a global basis. We provide a global communications network for interchange - the electronic transfer of information and funds among our members. We develop marketing programs that build even greater awareness for the brand, thereby increasing business for our members; and we enhance and support the marketing activities and operational functions of our members in connection with MasterCard programs and services.
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Who are MasterCard members?
There are more than 23,000 customer financial institutions around the world, serving consumers in 210 countries and territories.
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Who is MasterCard President & CEO?
Robert W. Selander was appointed president & CEO of MasterCard International in April 1997.
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How many people does the company employ and where are they located?
MasterCard has approximately 4,000 employees working in more than 37 MasterCard offices around the world. Corporate headquarters is in Purchase, N.Y. with technology operations located outside of St. Louis, Missouri. Regional headquarters include Waterloo, Singapore, Miami, and Dubai.
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How are MasterCard offices organized?
MasterCard is organized geographically into the following regions: Asia/Pacific; Europe; Latin America and Caribbean; North America (U.S. and Canada); and South Asia, Middle East and Africa.
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When was MasterCard founded?
1966 as the Interbank Card Association.
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When did Master Charge officially become MasterCard?
"Master Charge" was purchased by the California Bank Association in 1969, and was renamed MasterCard in 1979.
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What was the conversion that MasterCard recently went through in June 2002?
The conversion refers to the process by which MasterCard International converted from a membership association to a private share corporation, in connection with its merger with Europay International. Upon completion of the conversion, MasterCard principal members received shares in MasterCard Incorporated, a new holding company, and a membership interest in MasterCard International, MasterCard Incorporated's principal operating subsidiary.
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What was the integration of Europay and MasterCard in July 2002?
The integration refers to the process by which MasterCard Incorporated acquired Europay International to form a unified, shareholder-owned, global payments company, which will deliver significant benefits to customers across the globe. The integration provides an opportunity to create substantial benefits for customers in terms of improved economies of scale, elimination of duplication, and faster decision-making. Many of these benefits are already being realized.
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How many transactions are handled each day?
We processes as many as 32 million authorizations of financial transactions a day, enabling consumers to make purchases instantly, anytime, almost anywhere, in both the virtual and real worlds.
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What is the role of each issuing, or acquiring banks vis-à-vis MasterCard?
Issuing banks have responsibility for issuing cards, setting annual fees on cards, and determining annual percentage rates and other features such as rewards programs. Acquiring banks have responsibility for soliciting merchants to accept cards and setting their discount rate.
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