Difference Between Visa and Mastercard (With Table)

Visa vs Mastercard

Credit Cards are into existence for the past 70 years. Introduced by the Diner’s Club in 1950, credit cards have its benefits to the users all along.

Earlier the credit cards were made of either cardboard or celluloid. Plastics came into usage by 1959.

There was a closed-loop system earlier than the period mentioned, nevertheless, it is understood that using the money without having the funds and paying it back with interest is a good deal.

With time, the credit card issuance and usage methodology have varied. The banks started offering credit cards to customers and the payment networks support them.

The two prominent payment networks in the world are Visa Card and Mastercard. They both have billions of customers using their payment networks; one or the other.

This is because of the global outreach by the Payment networks. Visa and Mastercard are accepted over 200 countries in various outlets and businesses.

As such the electronic payments are dominated by these two giants. They both operate in the same functional medium and have their differences too.

The main difference between Visa and Mastercard is with foreign currency exchange rates while purchasing goods abroad. The exchange rates offered by Visa while purchasing goods abroad is not as good as the Mastercard, as the latter offers better exchange rates.


Parameter of ComparisonVisaMastercard
Conversion RatesWhile purchasing in foreign currency, the exchange rates are not as good as MasterCard.Mastercard offers better exchange rates when purchasing in foreign currency.
Auto – Rental Collision WaiverVisa offers no limit on the waiver for loss of use due to repair or damage while taking a vehicle on rent.Mastercard limits the waiver to $500
Return ProtectionVisa does not offer this service to all the Visa cards. Only Infinite cards are eligible for return protection.Mastercard offers up to $250 within 60 days of purchase.
Purchase ProtectionVisa Signature and Infinite cards alone offers this protection for the stolen or damaged purchaseMastercard offers to cover up to 90 days from the date of purchase.
Price ProtectionNot all Visa Cards offer this protection.Standard Mastercard offers this service up to 60 days while Mastercard World and World Elite offer up to 120 days from the date of purchase.

 

What is Visa?

Visa is a multinational financial services corporation which facilitates electronic fund transfer through its payment network. The electronic fund transfer happens throughout the world with the help of their issued credit cards, debit cards and also pre-paid cards.

Visa has no authority to issue cards or to set credit limits or set rates. Visa provides financial institutions with Visa-branded products which are used to offer credit, debit programs to the customers.

Visa was established in the year 1958 connecting with Bank of America. It is always the bank which sets the standards of the rates and credit limits and not the card issuer.

Visa is a versatile payment network operating in all the 6 continents. The customer base is in billions, in fact in the year 2014, the US recorded 100 billion transactions in one year.

Visa has secured data centres in 4 places; Virginia, Colorado, England and Singapore. These data centres are highly protected that even natural disasters can’t destruct them. These data centres can independently operate without any other centres’ help.

The data centres are well equipped that it can handle up to 30 thousand transactions in a second and 100 billion computations in a second too. Visa is the second-largest payment network in the world.

Visa Card
Visa Card
 

What is Mastercard?

Mastercard is a multinational financial services corporation headquartered in the United States. It got its present name Mastercard in the year 1979, however, the services began in the year 1966.

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The primary business is to be a medium to facilitate electronic payment transfers between the bank and bank merchants. The medium is a card and it was thus branded master card credit and debit cards.

Mastercard was initially called as Interbank and later changed to Master Charge in the year 1969. In the wake of Bank of America issuing bank cards through Visa, Mastercard started the same with the help of many regional bank card unions.

The violation of federal law a few years ago had got Mastercard a bad name for the fees that the ATM charges on the cards. This was also applicable to Visa Inc. as well.

Both Visa and Mastercard paid an amount of 3 Billion dollars for the case filed against them. From then on Mastercard had been diligent in their financial views. There are a lot of benefits for the customers using the Mastercard.

When it comes to the foreign currency exchange, the MasterCard offers good exchange rates and it is often considered good to carry a MasterCard issued credit or debit card for traveling abroad.

Mastercard
Mastercard

Main Differences Between Visa and Mastercard

  1. Visa and Mastercard are giant payment networks operating all over the world. The main difference between Visa and Mastercard is the foreign exchange rates. The Visa offers very fewer exchange rates while purchasing products using foreign currency while Mastercard offers better exchange rates for the same.
  2. On renting a vehicle and because of a collision it cannot be driven further. The payment would have been done in advance using the credit card. The vehicle cannot be used further and funds are expected to be returned by the merchant. In such cases, Visa shall offer the waiver to the amount paid and has no limit to it, while Mastercard gives a cap of $500 as a waiver in such cases.
  3. The return protection is not offered by all Visa cards but all the MasterCard offer return protection up to $250 for 60 days from the date of purchase.
  4. Purchase protection is offered by Visa Signature and Visa Infinite cards whereas all the MasterCard offer covers up to 90 days from the date of purchase.
  5. Price protection is an amazing feature which is not offered by all Visa cards while all the Mastercard has this protection and the rates shall be compared within a period of 60 days for standard cards whereas World and Elite World compares and repays up to 120 days.

 

Infographic

Visa vs Mastercard

 

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Conclusion

Both cards are widely used all over the world. The payment network is huge. It is impossible to find an outlet without accepting Visa or Mastercard. Other cards are not so prominent like the Amex and the Discover cards. The benefits of both are equally good for the customer.

The reason for the use of a credit card determines the benefits. It is a customized version of understanding what is it in store for the customer. Both companies make major revenue through processing fees and services offered.

Visa is considered to have large transactions and purchase volume than the MasterCard. But the global merchant acceptance is the same for both the services.


 

Word Cloud for Difference Between Visa and Mastercard

The following is a collection of the most used terms in this article on Visa and Mastercard. This should help in recalling related terms as used in this article at a later stage for you.

Difference Betweeb Visa and Mastercard
Word Cloud for Visa and Mastercard

 

References

  1. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF02721955
  2. https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Ludo_Van_Der_Heyden2/publication/225470873_What_are_Visa_and_Mastercard_for_and_who_are_they_really_serving/links/54b6f81e0cf2e68eb280060e.pdf
  3. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1471491405002704

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