The last four decades have seen a remarkable transformation in how people and businesses the world over pay for the goods and services they need. The rise of the electronic payments industry has helped economic growth transcend borders, bringing benefits to every corner of the world.
From the earliest days of credit cards to the contactless and wireless payment options of today, MasterCard Worldwide has led the industry in driving this evolution. MasterCard, at the heart of commerce, brings insight and innovation into the payments process to make commerce easier, faster, more seamless, more meaningful and more secure.
The MasterCard story begins in 1966 when a group of banks created a member-owned association that later became MasterCard. In 1968 the company extended its presence to Mexico, Japan and Europe, marking the start of its commitment to becoming the leading global payments network.
Through the 1980s, MasterCard continued to build on this promise, bringing the advantages of electronic payments to new regions and markets around the globe. MasterCard became the first payment card issued in the People’s Republic of China, and the company also launched Maestro®, the world’s first truly global online debit program, in partnership with Europay International.
The next decade saw electronic payments become even more closely integrated into peoples’ lives, a behavioral shift MasterCard capitalized on by developing new technologies that improved convenience, speed and efficiency. MasterCard also launched the “Priceless” ad campaign, elevating its consumer brand and differentiating the company’s connection to consumers.
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