Company Milestones

    MasterCard Worldwide has a remarkable heritage of success and innovation.

    A pioneer of the payments industry, MasterCard Worldwide has a remarkable heritage of success and innovation. Through the decades, MasterCard has demonstrated a commitment to making commerce faster, more secure and more convenient, while fostering relationships that drive value for all stakeholders and advance global commerce. Below are some of the company’s key highlights since its inception.


    Founded as the Interbank Card Association (ICA).


    Begins formation of global network with banks outside the United States.


    ICA acquires exclusive rights to the “Master Charge” name and the trademarked interlocking circles.


    Magstripe becomes a standard feature on all "Master Charge" cards.


    Renamed “MasterCard” to reflect commitment to international growth, following the purchase of “Master Charge” name and trademark by the California Bank Association.


    MasterCard introduces hologram security device, an industry first.


    MasterCard acquires an interest in Europay International's predecessor, EuroCard.


    MasterCard is the first-ever payment card issued in the People’s Republic of China.


    MasterCard acquires the Cirrus® ATM network


    MasterCard unveils a co-branding strategy and becomes the industry's co-branding leader.


    Europay and MasterCard launch Maestro®, the world’s first online point-of-sale debit network.


    Launch of Priceless®, award-winning advertising campaign, which first airs in October, and runs in 98 countries and in 46 languages. This campaign significantly raises brand awareness and usage—and enters “MasterCard” into the lexicon of everyday usage.


    Launch of MasterCard Advisors professional services, the largest global consultancy focused on the payments industry.


    MasterCard merges with Europay International to create MasterCard International—one worldwide company with one management team and converts to a private-share corporation in June 2002. MasterCard is in the best position to achieve its goals as an industry leader and to help the company’s customers achieve profitable growth.

    MasterCard launches and completes initial trial of its MasterCard PayPass™ contactless payment program in Orlando, Florida, with Chase, Citibank and MBNA.


    Additional financial institutions begin issuing MasterCard PayPass in 2005 and 2006. Card Technology magazine presents MasterCard with two “Breakthrough” Awards for its PayPass technology.


    MasterCard transitions to a new corporate governance and ownership structure. MasterCard Inc. begins trading on the New York Stock Exchange under ticker symbol MA.

    MasterCard introduces new corporate name, MasterCard Worldwide, and adopts a new corporate signature and tagline, The Heart of Commerce™, to reflect the company’s globally integrated structure and strategic vision of advancing commerce worldwide.


    MasterCard Worldwide launches knowledge leadership initiative with the Worldwide Centers of Commerce.


    Launch of IPS (Integrated Processing Solution) global platform for debit & prepaid issuer processing.


    MasterCard Europe and Europay France Integrate Operations in France.


    Acquired Orbisom, Ltd., a leading payments solutions software provider for major financial institutions.

    MasterCard Unveils World MasterCard for Business

    Read about MasterCard's premium payment card for high-spending small businesses.