Why Mastercard for new Fintechs?


This may have already been asked (I couldn’t find it if it has)…

Why are all new Fintech services using MasterCard over Visa?

I don’t think I’ve seen a single product which has a Visa card!

Cue people sending links for new Visa cards from Fintechs …


As for Visa, Monese had them but replaced them with Mastercard. Fineco Bank do issue Visa.

My understanding was that Mastercard is a little easier to deal with (less bureaucratic) and also has the benefit of better foreign exchange rates. That based on verbal feedback from staff at 3 different fintechs.


Thanks - I guess it’s just those years of conditioning where everything bank related is Visa (in my world anyway).

Do people find MasterCard is as accepted as Visa (in general?)

I know there have been issues abroad where MasterCard Debit cards aren’t recognised (because they are seen as Credit Cards).


Generally in most countries of the world both are accepted equally. However in a few African and South American countries you may come across the occassional Bank with an ATM or POS network which is Visa or Mastercard only. In Europe, US, Canada, Australia etc you will have no problem

In China while in certain tourist areas larger stores may accept Mastercard, Visa, Discover, JCB, CB, etc, in many parts of the country they may only accept the UnionPay card scheme.


You may in some European countries have issues with both Mastercard Debit and Visa Debit at certain merchants, typically in Germany and the Netherlands. These merchants may only accept Maestro (Mastercard) or VPay (Visa) branded debit cards and not the main type of debit cards. This is for a combination of reasons such as a historic national card scheme being merged into Maestro or VPay, and lower merchant charges for Maestro v Mastercard Debit and VPay v Visa Debit.


To me, it seemed that maybe Mastercard has decided to enter the debit card more aggressively so they’re probably undercutting Visa for the new Fintechs.

However, for all the legacy banks, the cost of switching from Visa to Mastercard probably means it’s not worthwhile them doing it.

The only issue I’ve had with Mastercard debit so far is one cash machine in Exeter which is Link/Visa only. Others have reported they’ve tried to use a cash machine which says it’s Link/Visa/Mastercard and it’s not worked - but that’s more likely because the machine is ‘only’ actually Link (which Starling isn’t part of) rather than because it’s a Mastercard card.


Some traditional banks have switched from Visa to Mastercard. Handelsbanken (who have c200 branches in UK, compare that to c50 for Metro Bank) switched in 2017. TSB are switching over in 2018.


I had wondered why Mastercard.


I have a Revolut Visa, although I think they’re still mostly issuing MasterCards. Leupay also issue visa


Interesting to see things go full circle after so many of the banks changing from Mastercard’s Switch/Solo/Maestro to Visa and now back again.

On Handelbanken, I noticed a new one near my work a while back. Are they really just for high net worth people?


not high high net worth like Coutts more low high net worth or medium net worth like Drummonds