It was originally created by United California Bank, Wells Fargo,
Crocker Bank and the Bank of California as a competitor to the
BankAmericard issued by Bank of America. BankAmericard is now the
VISA credit card, issued by Visa International.
Master Charge: The Interbank Card Becomes MasterCard
The name Master Charge was licensed by these California banks
from the First National Bank of Louisville, Kentucky in 1967.
banks joined with the Interbank Card Association (ICA) to create "Master
Charge: The Interbank Card".
In 1980, "Master Charge: The Interbank Card" was renamed "MasterCard".
MasterCard Mergers and Other Ventures
In the late 1990s, MasterCard merged with Access, in the United
Kingdom and Ireland, and EuroCard, in Continental Europe, and
quickly removed the old names from cards, ATMs and in-store validators.
MasterCard also owns the Cirrus ATM (cash machine) network, plus
the Maestro debit card network as well as the Master Money debit
card in the United States, which competes against Visa International's
more successful check card.
In early 2005, it was released that Citigroup owns six percent
Signia is MasterCard's reply to the American
Express "Centerion" or
black credit card - it caters exclusively to their customers who
spend the most each year.
MasterCard Credit Card Controversy
In 2005 tickets went on sale for the Football World Cup 2006.
Having been the primary sponsor for a number of years MasterCard
a deal which gave them the exclusive rights to credit card sales
of tickets. This effectively shut out people without this brand
of credit card, with the only option being a £30 bank transfer.
Also, Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder had planned to only
allow season ticket holders to renew their seats for the 2005 season
by only using the Washington Redskins Extra Points MasterCard,
cash or check. However, at the request of MasterCard International,
the Redskins backed off on this plan, and are now allowing the
use of any kind of MasterCard to be used. No other card brand can
MasterCard is not alone in the use of these exclusive deals, their
competitors VISA have a similar deal with the International Olympic
Committee through 2012.