About us

Making Payments
Safe, Simple and Smart

Learn more about MasterCard... By The Numbers

MasterCard is a technology company and payments industry leader. For more than four decades, we have been a driving force at the heart of commerce, making the global economy safer, more efficient, more inclusive and more transparent for all.

Consumers, merchants, business partners and governments in markets around the world have reaped the benefits of our innovative products and solutions which, simply put, are designed to make life easier.

What We Do

Every day, we make payments happen. Every day, we deliver value.

What We Don't Do

We don‘t issue cards, set interest rates or establish annual fees. Those decisions are made by card issuers, such as banks. We don't set merchant discount rates either. Acquirers do that. And, of course, we don‘t make money from interchange fees.

Our Vision

A world beyond cash


Every day, everywhere, we use our technology and expertise to make payments safe, simple and smart

In the last four decades, people and businesses worldwide have transformed how they pay for goods and services. The rise of the electronic payments has fueled economic growth while delivering value to consumers, merchants and governments. From the earliest days of credit cards to the contactless and wireless payment options of today, MasterCard has led the industry in driving this evolution.

Our story began in 1966 when a group of bankers created a member-owned association that later became MasterCard. In 1968 we extended our presence to Mexico, Japan and Europe, marking the start of our commitment to becoming the leading global payments network.

Through the 1980s, we continued to build on this promise, bringing the advantages of electronic payments to new regions and markets. We launched Maestro®, the world‘s first truly global online debit program, in partnership with Europay International, and MasterCard became the first payment card issued in the People‘s Republic of China.

In the ’90s, electronic payments became even more integrated into peoples‘ lives, a behavioral shift we capitalized on by developing new technologies that improved convenience, speed and efficiency. We launched “Priceless”, our award-winning advertising campaign in 1997, and it continues to build brand awareness and resonate with consumers worldwide.

In 2001, we launched MasterCard Advisors, bringing innovative consulting services to customers and others in the industry. That same year, we upgraded our state-of-the-art network, enhancing our ability to make payments safe, simple and smart. We integrated with Europay International in 2002, establishing a unified global corporate structure and also becoming a private share corporation.

By 2005, we committed ourselves to a new, customer-focused strategy that aligned our advisory and processing capabilities with our long-standing role as a franchisor. This three-tiered business model crystallized our positioning as a franchisor, processor and advisor, helping to lay the groundwork for our initial public offering in 2006 (NYSE: MA).

In 2010, we established MasterCard Labs, which serves as our incubator for new ideas, and also acquired DataCash. In 2011, we acquired the prepaid card program management operations of Travelex, now called Access Prepaid Worldwide.

Today we are innovating and growing the range of products and solutions we bring to market. As a technology company that‘s a key player in the payments industry, we‘re leveraging our technology and expertise to benefit our consumers, merchants, business partners, governments and the communities we serve. We‘re also building financial inclusion and revolutionizing the way people pay, whether by using our traditional cards, our Contactless technology or mobile devices.

With 85 percent of the world‘s transactions still made with cash and checks, there is plenty of room for us to grow and for billions of people to benefit from our innovations as we pursue a world beyond cash.

Being a great company takes hard work—and we’re pleased that our efforts haven’t gone unnoticed. Below you will find many examples of the recognition that MasterCard has received recently.


Top 10 – Bloomberg Business Week

MasterCard ranked among the top 10 in the Bloomberg Businessweek 50 annual ranking of top-performing U.S. companies, for two years running. (Feb 2013)

2013 GSMA Best NFC/Mobile Money Product or Service

MasterCard, Etisalat and Oberthur Technologies were awarded the 2013 GSMA "Best NFC/Mobile Money Product or Service" for the Etisalat Commerce Programme, announced at Mobile World Congress. (Feb 2013)

Top 10 - Fortune's 2012 Business Person of the Year

Fortune magazine ranked Ajay Banga #8 among the top 50 leaders in its 2012 Businessperson of the Year list–crediting MasterCard's innovative strategies, increasingly global revenues and a rising stock price. (Nov 2012)

Fortune 500

MasterCard is #348 in the 2013 Fortune 500's annual ranking of America's largest corporations, up from #370 in 2012. (May 2013)

Barron's 500

MasterCard ranks #11 on the 2013 Barron's 500 list of top companies that are investing in growth. (May 2013)

2013 Paybefore Awards

MasterCard won three Best-in-Category 2013 Paybefore Awards and Most Innovative Program from the Paybefore Awards Europe. (Mar 2013)

2013 VRL Prepaid Middle East Awards

MasterCard and partners won four of five 2013 VRL Prepaid Middle East Awards for innovative prepaid solutions for consumers in the United Arab Emirates for the Bayani Card from RAK Bank; Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank Landmark Gift Card; the Sharjah Islamic Bank COOP Prepaid Card; and Majid Al Futtaim Finance’s (MAF) Industry Partner of the Year Award. (Apr 2013)

#20 – 2013 BrandZ Report

MasterCard comes in at #20 on Millward Brown,s BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands. MasterCard is BrandZ’s fastest growing brand, jumping 67 spots from #87 in 2009 while nearly quadrupling in brand value from $7.4B to $27.8 billion. (May 2013)

Top 50 Global Champion Brand – APCO

APCO Worldwide selected MasterCard as one of the 50 companies that top its Champion Brand Index, a global study that measures the brand strength of nearly 600 of the world's largest public and private companies. (Jan 2013)

Top 100 - Interbrand's 2012 Best Global Brands

Interbrand recognized MasterCard on its annual list of the Top 100 Global Brands, lauding the company's leadership in mobile payment via MasterCard PayPass, the launch of its "Priceless Cities" customer benefits program, its unforgettable "Priceless" tagline, and its growing suite of solutions for business owners. (Oct 2012)

Fortune's World's Most Admired

MasterCard ranked first in its industry in global competitiveness on the Fortune's World's Most Admired Companies list. (Mar 2013)

Brandfinance Global Banking 500

MasterCard ranks #42 on BrandFinance's annual ranking of the 500 most valuable banking brands –measuring the strength, risk and future potential of a brand relative to its competitor set as well as a brand value and financial strength. (Mar 2013)

#9 - World's Most Influential Brands

MasterCard ranks #9 among the Most Influential Brands in the World according to Ipsos based on a survey of consumers in USA, Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, UK, France, Germany, China and Canada. (Mar 2013)

Top 10 Business Superbrands in the UK

MasterCard is #10 among the UK's strongest B2B brands as ranked by the Business Superbrands Council the Business Superbrands Council and thousands of individual business professionals on the YouGov panel in a study conducted by The Centre for Brand Analysis. (Feb 2013)

Smart Card Awards Asia 2013

MasterCard and partners mobile wallet platform provider C-Sam and mobile network operator Starhub won "Best NFC Project" at Smart Card Awards Asia 2013 for the innovative near field communications wallet, Smart Wallet. (Mar 2013)


Gold, Silver and Finalist - 2012 Midas Awards

MasterCard, in conjunction with creative agencies R/GA, MacLaren McCann and McCann swept the 2012 Midas Awards with nine awards, including three Gold, three Silver, and three Finalist/Midas Certificates. These annual awards celebrate the "World's Best Financial Advertising." (Jan 2013)

Bronze – 2013 Effie Award

MasterCard and creative agency partner Universal McCann received a Bronze 2013 Effie Award North America for their Priceless New York campaign. (May 2013)

Gold District - 2012 Addy Award & Bronze and El Ojo de Iberoamérica 2012

Creative Communications Agency McCann Erickson Puerto Rico won a Gold District 2012 Addy Award from the Caribbean Advertising Federation (April 2012) and a Bronze award from El Ojo de Iberoamérica 2012 for its MasterCard International Cuisine/Newspaper. (Nov 2012)

Gold, Communications or PR Campaign/Program of the Year–IBA Stevie Awards 2012

The International Business Awards selected MasterCard among its 2012 Communications, Public Relations & Investor Relations Stevie® Award Winners. MasterCard received a Gold Stevie Award for its "NoCash@MasterCard" internal campaign in MasterCard Europe SPRL, Waterloo, Belgium. (Aug 2012)

Internal Communications - European Excellence Award 2012

MasterCard Europe was awarded a European Excellence Award 2012 in the Internal Communications category for its NoCash@MasterCard internal campaign. (December, 2012)

Great Place To Work

#5 DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity

MasterCard was recognized for its diversity and inclusion practices by DiversityInc's list of Top 50 Companies for Diversity for the fourth time in five years—ranking #5 for 2013. More (Apr 2013)

Top 100 Best Companies - Working Mother

MasterCard was named to the 2012 "Working Mother 100 Best Companies" list for leadership on creating family-friendly policy and culture for the fifth consecutive year for its programs designed to help employees with their caregiving needs. (Sep 2012)

BEOEJ Best of the Best

MasterCard is recognized among the BEOEJ's (Black Equal Opportunity Employment Journal) 2013 “Best of the Best” for its diversity and inclusion efforts. (Apr 2013)

Latino Magazine Top 100

MasterCard is among Latino Magazine's first-ever annual listing of the 100 companies providing the most opportunities for Latinos. (Spring 2013)

Best Places to Work 2013 - Human Rights Campaign (HRC)

MasterCard made HRC's "Best Places to Work" list for 2013 with a 100% Corporate Equality Index (CEI) rating for the third time in four years. The HRC's CEI report provides an in-depth analysis and rating of large U.S. employers and their policies and practices pertinent to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees. (Nov 2012)

Professional Woman's Magazine - 2013 Best of the Best Lists

MasterCard ranked among Professional Woman’s Magazine's 2013 Best of the Best Lists recognizing the nation's top Companies in Finance, Healthcare, Energy, Gas & Oil industries as well as colleges, universities, and MBA Schools. (Mar 2013)

NAFE's Top 50 Company for Executive Women

The National Association for Female Executives (NAFE) and Working Mother named MasterCard as one of their 2013 Top 50 Companies for Executive Women for adopting advancement programs and welcoming cultures to work to fill their top management levels with strong female talent. (Feb 2013)

#42 – Training Top 125, Training Magazine

MasterCard was included on Training magazine's 2012 Training Top 125 list of organizations recognized for their comprehensive training programs. This annual ranking is the only report that ranks companies unsurpassed in training. (Feb 2013)

#29 Best Places to Work – Glassdoor Employee Choice Awards 2013

Glassdoor, an online resource for job seekers, ranked MasterCard #29 among the Top 50 Best Places to Work in its fifth annual Employee's Choice Awards. (Dec 2012)

Best Employers in America – Business Insider

MasterCard was ranked #6 among Business Insider's Best Employers in America. (Feb 2013)

#25 - Top 50 Best Places to Work in Greater Toronto, Toronto Star

MasterCard Canada was voted one of the Top 50 places to work in Greater Toronto Area by the Toronto Star and Aon Hewitt, a human resourcing consulting firm. (Nov 2012)

MasterCard is committed to sustainability by respecting and preserving the environment in our daily activities and in how we work with others. As we pursue our vision of a world beyond cash, our innovations in electronic payments create value for society while reducing reliance on paper and plastic, particularly as we embed payment technology in mobile devices. Our efforts involve creating sustainable business practices around the world and giving employees opportunities to practice environmental responsibility.

We are decreasing our overall environmental footprint by focusing on three areas – energy conservation, recycling and pollution control. Recognizing that seemingly small steps can have a large effect, programs at our offices worldwide include:

  • Motion sensors on faucets and lights
  • Black and white and double-sided printer defaults
  • Eco-friendly food packaging
  • Recycling batteries, plastic, cans and glass
  • Rain water harvesting to reduce potable water use
  • Electric car charging stations

We're especially proud that MasterCard Technologies, headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri, has achieved LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold certification for existing buildings. While a 24x7 operations center inherently has large energy demands, we designed our facility with sustainable features and continue to focus on optimizing the ways in which we use energy to power our network. We look forward to announcing other LEED certifications in the coming year.

We want to work with others who share our commitment to environmental responsibility, so sustainability is a key feature of our Supplier Compliance Program. We've established a supplier sustainability web site and are working with other financial services companies to share best practices in global supply chain management.

Our focus extends to the many stakeholders in the communities we serve. Working with partners in the private and public sectors, we help provide prepaid and debit cards for payroll and government benefits, saving money and virtually eliminating paper. Walmart, for example, estimates it will save 300,000 pounds of paper each year by replacing payroll checks with MasterCard prepaid cards. Similarly, the U.S. Treasury is replacing paper Social Security checks with electronic payments. We're also partnering with banks in China, Macau, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom to give consumers ways to support environmental causes that matter to them by using their cards.

Our goal is to educate employees on the measures we can take to protect the environment. Employee volunteers on our worldwide Environmental Action Team are driving that awareness and action. Efforts to conserve energy, recycle and reduce pollution can go a long way in helping MasterCard diminish its environmental footprint and create a sustainable world today and in the future.

Environmental Sustainability Facts

Did you know…

Through our partnership with Walmart, we've already saved nearly 700,000 pounds of paper by replacing payroll checks with MasterCard prepaid cards since 2009.

In 2011, MasterCard employees recycled more than 350,000 pounds of paper and nearly 50 tons of scrap metal.

Changing the default printer settings in our offices to encourage double sided, black-and-white printing reduced the number of printed pages by 33 million since 2009.


MasterCard acquires the prepaid card program management operations of Travelex (now referred to as Access Prepaid Worldwide)

MasterCard and Telefónica create a joint venture to offer mobile financial solutions in Latin America

MasterCard and Western Union partner to fuel growth of electronic payments
MasterCard launches MasterCard Labs to promote greater innovation in electronic payments

Ajay Banga is named CEO

MasterCard acquires DataCash Group plc, to expand e-Commerce payment solutions
Transitioned to a public company with a new corporate governance and ownership structure

MasterCard begins trading on the New York Stock Exchange under ticker symbol MA

Introduced new brand mark, MasterCard, and adopted a new corporate signature and tagline, The Heart of Commerce™
Merged with Europay International

Converted from a membership association to a private share corporation
Launched MasterCard Advisors, the largest global consultancy focused on the payments industry
Launched the “Priceless” advertising campaign
Launched Maestro®, the world‘s first online point-of-sale debit network
Acquired the Cirrus® ATM Network
Acquired an interest in EuroCard (predecessor to Europay International)
Renamed MasterCard to reflect a commitment to international growth
“Master Charge” purchased by the California Bank Association
Founded as the Interbank Card Association (ICA)

Business Unit Descriptions

Mastercard Newsroom
Cashless Conversation Blog

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