Here's where you can shop for MasterCard credit and prepaid cards -- our list below showcases cards across various popular categories. MasterCard Worldwide is the driving force behind one of the largest international electronic payment processing platforms linking customers with businesses in over 150 countries across the globe. As a matter of fact, MasterCard lies at the very heart of global commerce and is constantly striving to create a faster, better, cheaper and safer way to transfer money. As their slogan goes, "there are some things that money can’t buy".
Who is MasterCard? MasterCard began in 1966 as Interbanc Card Association and established a way for financial institutions to come together as an association to discuss better ways of issuing and managing credit. This approach was so successful that in just two short years, MasterCard was able to truly call themselves a global company after reaching into Mexico, Europe, and Japan. That’s when the focus of MasterCard broadened to encompass becoming a global payments leader and not just another credit card company.
A little history: The 1980s was a pivotal decade for MasterCard, further establishing them as an electronic payments leader. MasterCard was behind the first payment card issued in the People’s Republic of China as well as delivering the first truly global debit card network known simply as Maestro. MasterCard also introduced its holographic security feature for financial cards, the first in the industry to do so.
In the 1990s, MasterCard switched its focus from innovating new technologies in favor of perfecting existing technologies that would benefit the payment card industry. Speed, convenience, and safety were the focus as well as bringing about brand awareness by introducing the “Priceless” campaign.
During the turn of the century, MasterCard’s new focus was that of providing its card customers with additional financial services, so they launched MasterCard Advisors in 2001. This service allowed MasterCard to gain a foothold in the financial consulting industry. This was also the decade that MasterCard invested millions of dollars to upgrade and enhance its electronic payment network that made the payment process the safest and most efficient it has been to date. In 2006, MasterCard became incorporated and went public after four decades of being a privately held firm, further establishing it as a leader in the payments industry.
What does MasterCard do? MasterCard is not a card issuing institution. Instead, MasterCard’s focus is on creating a state of the art payment network that facilitates electronic payments all over the world. MasterCard does not control fees, interest rates or other account maintenance practices, although in conjunction with the federal government, they are heavily involved with the regulation of the financial and credit industry as a whole. The 20,000 plus members of MasterCard Worldwide are responsible for setting the industry standards governing the way electronic payments are processed.
So, why choose MasterCard? When choosing a MasterCard branded credit or debit card over other types of major cards including Visa, American Express and Discover, your decision should be based on a number of criteria including cost, perks, and qualification criteria offered by individual issuers. But, no matter what MasterCard branded product you select, take comfort in knowing that your card is fully backed by the integrity of one of the largest companies in the world.