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MasterCard

MasterCard Definition

MasterCard Incorporated is a membership organization owned by the 25,000 financial institutions that issue its card. MasterCard is also the company's brand of credit cards.

It was originally created by United California Bank, Wells Fargo, Crocker Bank, and the Bank of California as a competitor to the BankAmericard issued by Bank of America. BankAmericard is now the VISA credit card, issued by Visa International.

The name Master Charge was licensed by these California banks from the First National Bank of Louisville, Kentucky in 1967. With the help of New York's Marine Midland Bank (now HSBC Bank USA), these banks joined with the Interbank Card Association (ICA) to create "Master Charge: The Interbank Card".

In 1979, "Master Charge: The Interbank Card" was renamed "MasterCard".

Based on an SEC filing in early 2005, MasterCard's largest current shareholders are:

  1. JPMorgan Chase - 11.7%
  2. Citigroup - 6.2%
  3. Bank of America - 6%
  4. Euro Kartensysteme - 5.2%
  5. Europay France - 5.0%





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