Visa and MasterCard: Is there really a Difference?

Aug 24, 2015

There are two categories of plastic payment cards: credit and debit. Both options typically come from two card makers, Visa and MasterCard. The vast majority of Americans possess either a Visa or MasterCard, if not both. While most know that of the card names, few know the actual difference in the names. Yes, both process payments the same, and many times provide the same interest rates. But, there are differences that may sway you to one company or the other.

Visa is unique because it has two levels, or types, of cards: regular (base level) and signature. The base level is just that: the base, the simplest type of card. This is what most people have when they have a basic debit or credit card. Visa provides these cardholders with great security, fraud assistance, and emergency assistance. The signature has the same security and safety features that the base level cards have, as well as 24/7 concierge service and an online portal that gives cardholders access to discounts and special access to entertainment, travel, sporting, and dining.

MasterCard has one-upped Visa, because they have three levels of cards. They have the base card, which offers the same benefits as Visa’s case card. MasterCard also offers up a World card, which has the added benefit of a personal travel advisor and added hotel perks at participating hotels. World Elite is the top-level card type that MasterCard offers. With World Elite, the above-mentioned items are included, as well as cruise price cuts and reduced prices of rental cards and airfare.

While Visa and MasterCard may seem the same – and in many ways, they are –, merchants need to make sure that they are ready for every type of card. Merchants need to make sure that they have a high risk credit card processing account, to help them safely process Visa and MasterCard payments. Hackings and fraudulent charges are on the rise, and by securing your business, you can better secure your customers. The process is easy, and in no time, you will be safely processing all types of Visa and MasterCard payments without fear.

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