Waterloo, Belgium 3 February, 2011 – MasterCard Europe today announced its fourth quarter 2010 operating results for the Europe region. Maestro™ reinforced its position as Europe’s leading debit card brand in 2010, with 300 million cards now in issuance across the region – more than any other debit brand across Europe. 

For the fourth quarter 2010, the European region reported MasterCard gross dollar volume for Europe of $225 billion, an increase of 14.0%, compared to the fourth quarter 2009. Purchase volume was $168 billion, growing 13.0% during the quarter. From 1 October through 31 December, European cardholders made more than 2.1 billion purchase transactions with their MasterCard-branded cards, an increase of 13.7%.

As of 31 December 2010, 212 million MasterCard-branded cards (excluding Maestro and Cirrus) had been issued by MasterCard customers across Europe, an increase of 6.9 % compared to the same quarter in 2009. European cardholders could use their MasterCard-branded cards at 9.1 million acceptance locations in the region and at 31.7 million acceptance locations worldwide.

In addition, the Maestro brand mark appeared on 300 million cards. Consumers can now make point of sale purchases with their Maestro cards at 7.1 million merchant locations throughout Europe and at 13.1 million merchant locations worldwide.

Javier Perez, MasterCard Europe President, said, “Electronic payments continue to gain preference with consumers in Europe. In 2010 MasterCard continued the momentum in debit led by Maestro, Europe’s only global SEPA debit brand. Maestro continued to be a compelling domestic debit card offering, gaining traction as consumers opted for greater choice with security, added-value and acceptance both for brick-mortar and online purchases. Recent breakthroughs include Belgium, with over 500 online merchants and near 100% of Maestro cards in the market eCommerce enabled. No other debit brand offers such inclusiveness in this space – the next SEPA frontier for Europe.” 

Additional Business Highlights for the last three months of 2010 included:

  • In December the Russian Standard Bank became the first bank in Europe to offer Russian consumers MasterCard® MoneySend™, the MasterCard person-to-person remittance platform. This first European implementation was one of four global initiatives launched on the European continent in Q4 2010 in addition to advances in the areas of NFC and contactless, security and corporate control programmes all introduced in the quarter.  
  • The MasterCard contactless technology MasterCard® PayPass™ continued to expand its footprint across the region, launching in Bulgaria, the ninth European market for Europe, enabling consumers to Tap&Go™ for their purchases, whilst in Italy 300,000 cards are now PayPass enabled. No other contactless offering is in as many European markets as PayPass. Other milestones include the introduction of The Bratislava Municipal Card in Slovakia, further issuance in Poland, the commitment of the Bucharest Subway in Romania and further developments in Turkey – where PayPass is now an integral consumer offering and where MasterCard saw the marriage of PayPass into the mobile world with yet another first for the country. In November MasterCard joined forces with Garanti Bank, Turkish Telecom operator Avea and Gemalto, and the first commercial NFC rollout for mobile payments, helping Turkish consumers adapt their mobile phone for contactless purchases. 
  • In December, Alitalia became the tenth airline in Europe to introduce a World MasterCard credit co-brand card, making MasterCard the company of choice for a number of European national airlines, with previous success in the year with Lufthansa, Czech Air, Swiss Air and others.
  • MasterCard closed the year by signing a six-year strategic corporate alliance with Walt Disney EMEA & Russia and Euro Disney, one of the most significant non-sport sponsorship deals for MasterCard in Europe. This new sponsorship agreement opens up a world of opportunities for families and individuals alike, who as cardholders of MasterCard or Maestro, will be able to benefit from exclusive promotions across the breadth of Disney including motion pictures and the more than 100 Disney Stores across the region and in DisneyLand Paris, Europe’s number one tourist destination. 

About MasterCard Europe

MasterCard Europe is the entity responsible for managing MasterCard Worldwide’s business in Europe, for Europe. With headquarters in Waterloo, Belgium, MasterCard Europe works in 51 European countries, stretching as far afield as the eastern border of Russia. Through its network of local offices, MasterCard Europe can understand and meet the diverse needs of customers in the very different types of markets throughout Europe, enabling people to do business in their own way in their own language.

About MasterCard Worldwide

As a leading global payments company, MasterCard Worldwide prides itself on being at the heart of commerce, helping to make life easier and more efficient for everyone, everywhere.  MasterCard serves as a franchisor, processor and advisor to the payments industry, and makes commerce happen by providing a critical economic link among financial institutions, governments, businesses, merchants, and cardholders worldwide.  In 2009, $2.5 trillion in gross dollar volume was generated on its products by consumers around the world.  Powered by the MasterCard Worldwide Network – the fastest payment processing network in the world – MasterCard processes over 22 billion transactions each year and has the capacity to handle 140 million transactions per hour, with an average network response time of 140 milliseconds and with 99.99 percent reliability.  MasterCard advances global commerce through its family of brands, including MasterCard®, Maestro®, and Cirrus®; its suite of core products such as credit, debit, and prepaid; and its innovative platforms and functionalities, such as MasterCard PayPass™ and MasterCard inControl™.  MasterCard serves consumers, governments, and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. For more information, please visit us at www.mastercard.com. Follow us on Twitter: @mastercardnews.

Forward-Looking Statements

Statements in this press release which are not historical facts, including statements about MasterCard’s plans, strategies, beliefs and expectations, are forward-looking and subject to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigations Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are made. Accordingly, except for the company’s ongoing obligations under the U.S. federal securities laws, the company does not intend to update or otherwise revise the forward-looking information to reflect actual results of operations, changes in financial condition, changes in estimates, expectations or assumptions, changes in general economic or industry conditions or other circumstances arising and/or existing since the preparation of this press release or to reflect the occurrence of any unanticipated events.  Such forward-looking statements include, without limitation, statements related to the continuing trend of consumers shifting away from cash toward electronic payments.

Actual results may differ materially from such forward-looking statements for a number of reasons, including those set forth in the company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), including the company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2009 and Current Reports on Form 8-K that have been filed with the SEC during 2010 and 2011, as well as reasons including difficulties, delays or the inability of the company to achieve its strategic initiatives set forth above. Factors other than those listed above could also cause the company’s results to differ materially from expected results.  


Louise Herbert, Tel. +32 (0)2 352 5647, louise_herbert@mastercard.com