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Visa vs MasterCard: What is the difference?

Visa and MasterCard are two of the most known and used payment networks in the world. Visa (NYSE: V) and MasterCard (NYSE: MA) listed on the New York Stock Exchange are also the names of two companies that have developed and maintain their payments network of the same name.

The two US companies do not actually issue or distribute debit, credit or prepaid cards but issue licenses to do so on their network. The bank or company issuing the card and the type of card are the most important elements. Both networks are usually accepted everywhere. It is rare that only one network is accepted but some rare exceptions exist.

The first is “a global payments technology company that allows consumers, businesses, banks and governments to use the digital currency”. For MasterCard, “Electronic payments have the ability to create a world with greater opportunities for all. To take us beyond the borders, to new markets. Beyond simple moments, towards significant experiences. ”

Few features separate the two payment networks. From a number point of view:

  • 2,589 million MasterCard cards issued with 22,891 million transactions for the year (source: MasterCard)
  • 3.404 million Visa card issued with 36.425 million transactions made for a value of 53,206 million USD. (source: Visa)

Sub-brands according to the type of card are written on your debit cards. V-pay or Maestro for Europe. These debit cards must be linked with a bank account. Outside Europe, you can find Visa Electron or Visa debit

Plus and Cirrus are the trademarks of their respective ATM networks. You can locate all VISA or MasterCard compatible ATMs.

Most of what you get with any credit, debit or prepaid card comes from the issuer so it is very important to compare the cards offered.

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