A credit, debit or prepaid card branded by Visa Inc., a major payments technology company. Visa cards are available to individual and business consumers with excellent, good, poor or no credit.
Worldwide credit card corporation that works with financial institutions to issue credit cards. The credit cards distributed by the company are done so under the MasterCard brand, which is one of the three major credit cards accepted at vendors across the world. The credit provided to card holders is controlled by the financial institution that issues the card and not MasterCard. MasterCard converted from a privately held company to a public company on May 25, 2006.
There are two ways to accept a particular credit card brand in most countries:
Apply to accept payment cards via a payment processing company that bundles most of the card types into one statement (for example, Visa, MasterCard and Discover/Diners Club all on one statement).
Apply to accept each card type separately (separate applications for Visa, MasterCard, Discover/Diners Club, American Express, JCB, etc.).
In the U.S. and in many other countries, it is most common for merchants to use a payment processor where they can get Visa, MasterCard, Discover, Diners Club, JCB and sometimes American Express all on one statement. The exact card mix will vary by country and payment processor. In this case, a merchant that accepts Visa will also accept MasterCard.
An example is Sam’s Club, where for many years they only accepted Discover cards, since they negotiated a deal with them. Later MasterCard decided to strike a deal with them too, and then they accepted Discover and MasterCard. Then American Express negotiated a deal with them, and now they accept everything except Visa, who won’t come down on its prices. So, if a merchant only accepts Visa or only accepts MasterCard, it is usually because that merchant signed up directly to accept Visa or MasterCard, and did not bother to sign up for the other one.
This is usually because most of their customers use cash, and the signed up to accept credit cards because certain customers requested it, and they choose to sign up only for some of the card types. In all cases, it is because the merchant chose not to sign up for other card types.