What’s the deal with Mastercard and VISA

Just a random question really for anyone who wants to answer, most new fintech banks (Monzo included) all use Mastercard for their card issuer is this a cheaper option or have more plus points than VISA ? Most of the ‘legacy” banks have VISA cards as their suppliers.

What’s the reason new fintech banks jump for MasterCard?

Not that it makes a massive difference as I believe Mastercard offers cheaper fees abroad, would be good to have a VISA option :nerd_face:


Not sure what all the differences are between MC and VISA but Dozens are in the process of moving to VISA. R-

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Visa has better acceptance in other countries, they’re more expensive and prefer to deal with “larger” companies from what I’ve read.

Most fintechs seem to go with MasterCard. Revolut seems to be the notable exception as they now issue both.

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Wirex also goes with Visa. It’s really interesting why

In all honesty, they’re both about the same in terms of all the things you’d care about as a customer.

Mastercard has very marginally better acceptance in Europe due to cross-compatibility with Maestro and also some bits of Asia, Visa have marginally better acceptance in more obscure bits of the US but in reality, if a store accepts one, it is almost certainly going to accept both.

I like to compare the two as Visa is like a large monolithic system, while Mastercard is a bit more of a broken up collection of teams and services, which means they have over the last few years been more willing to take on smaller fintech card issuers. :slightly_smiling_face:


Did anyone spot this new “Fintech Express” the other week?

Become a card issuer and get a BIN and License in 2 weeks. :open_mouth:

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Thank you for explaining like I said not an issue either way just was curious :smiley:


Theres like no difference apart from the logo and network used.
Only time its a issue is Coventry Building Soceity ATM’s that only take Visa and link and in some cases abroad.

Revolut uses MasterCard for its virtual cards, and its Visas are mixed. Guessing that isn’t a coincidence.

My Revolut virtual card is Visa. I’m guessing once you’ve issued so many cards Visa become more interested and perhaps offer better volume discounting. I’m sure I read that all free Revolut cards are being issued as visas now whilst premium cards remain on MasterCard.


due to cross-compatibility with Maestro

I saw this and have to ask…is this actually true with Monzo?
I ask as whenever I go to the Netherlands I always have trouble in a couple of (usually smallish) shops where the card doesn’t even get to the pin entry screen. They’ll say “we only accept Maestro and MC cards here”. Apple pay doesn’t work either again the clerk will say “Only Maestro backed Apple Pay cards work here”.

If Maestro and MC were cross compatible I’d have thought it would work without issue?

It’s true to a small degree. My partner is Dutch and there have been the odd times when Mastercard has worked and Visa hasn’t. But certainly, declines due to Maestro being the only accepted issuer are far more common, especially outside of bigger cities like Amsterdam.

So you mean there’s a big difference in a huge number of cases?

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