The difference between Visa and Mastercard is the set of aspects in which both companies may differ, regarding the scope of their services or benefits for their clients, among others.
That is, we are referring to the points in which Visa and Mastercard are different. For this reason, users should take these inequalities into account when choosing to work with one company or another.
However, before starting to list the differences, it is important to note that Visa and Mastercard are not the companies that issue credit or debit cards. This is done by the bank or financial institution where the debtor or depositor is a client. This company sets the conditions such as the interest rate (to be paid or collected), commissions, the period of indebtedness, among others.
Instead, the role of Visa and Mastercard, as payment processors, is to act as intermediaries between the card user and the merchant where a transaction is taking place. That way, the required operation (such as a credit purchase in a store) can be carried out successfully.
Difference between Visa and Mastercard according to their presence
First, in terms of presence, Visa is accepted, at the time of writing the article, in more than 200 countries. This, according to the official page of the company.
For its part, Mastercard operates in more than 210 countries, too, according to the company’s official website.
Visa has around 3.6 billion users globally and works with 15,200 financial institutions. This, according to the company itself.
Meanwhile, looking for data on Mastercard users, we find that there are around 1.13 billion cardholders globally, according to figures from Statista.
The data cited in this section is from mid-2021.
Difference between Visa and Mastercard in their products
Available products vary by country, but we will mention the most common standard. In the case of Visa, Classic, Gold, Platinum, Signature and Infinite credit and debit cards are usually found (ordered from the lowest to the highest purchasing power of the customer).
In the case of Mastercard, they offer Standard, Gold, Platinum and Black credit and debit cards (in order from least to most exclusive).
In addition, both firms offer prepaid cards. This type of card must be recharged with the money that is going to be consumed, allowing the expense to rise to that amount, without exceeding it. It is characterized by not being linked to a bank account. Of this type, we have, for example, the Visa Travel Money (designed for trips) or the Mastercard Prepaid Card.
Regarding security, Verified By Visa is the system that will protect the Visa user when carrying out their operations on the Internet.
Regarding Mastercard, the Mastercard SecureCode is a private code for the Mastercard account. This provides an additional level of protection when transacting online.
Although they are different systems, we have not found one to be more efficient than the other.
To verify exchange rate differences, we go to each payment processor’s online currency converter and look up the exchange rate between the euro and the dollar.
In the case of Visa, at the time of writing this article (January 27, 2022), the exchange rate was 1.080193 dollars per euro. This, considering that the euro is the currency of the card and dollars, the currency in which the transaction will be carried out. In addition, we include a bank commission of 4%.
Meanwhile, Mastercard offered 1.070399 dollars per euro. This, using the Mastercard converter and placing the same data that we enter in the Visa converter.
In other words, another difference is that both processors handle different exchange rates, although not so far from each other. This, when the user wishes to carry out a transaction in a currency other than the one he has in his bank account.
In conclusion, the differences between Visa and Mastercard are not many. Each bank usually works with a different processor. Thus, other factors, such as the interest rate or benefits such as the accumulation of miles, will be of greater relevance when purchasing a bank card.