MasterCard Europe Reports Double Digit Growth for Second Quarter 2008

(PresseBox) ( Waterloo, Belgium, )
MasterCard Worldwide today announced its second quarter 2008 operating results for the Europe region. The region reported double digit growth in MasterCard gross dollar volume (17.8%), purchase volume (18.6%), purchase transactions (13.7%), cash transactions (11.6%) and cards issued (16.5%), compared to the same period in 2007.

As of 30 June 2008, 191 million MasterCard cards (excluding Maestro® and Cirrus®) had been issued by MasterCard customer financial institutions across Europe. European cardholders made more than 1.5 billion purchase transactions in the second quarter of 2008 and could use their MasterCard cards at 7.7 million acceptance locations in the region.

In addition, the Maestro brand mark appeared on over 307 million cards, up 5.3% compared to the same quarter in 2007. Consumers can now make point of sale purchases with their Maestro cards at 6.5 million merchant locations throughout Europe.

Javier Perez, President, MasterCard Europe, said: "The strength of our regional performance is particularly impressive in the context of the current economic climate and regulatory pressure. We have risen to the challenges of an increasingly competitive market by delivering on our customerfocused strategy and continuing to create value for all the parties involved in the payments chain. By bringing insight, innovation and flawless execution to the table, we remain at the heart of European commerce."

- MasterCard reported a number of significant business achievements for the quarter:
- MasterCard announced the launch of a number of EMV-based multi-function payment cards in Europe. The first in the region was launched in Finland with Nordea and Stockmann, offering debit, credit and the retailer's loyalty programme on a single piece of plastic. This was followed by the first debit/credit chip card in France from Crédit Agricole, while in Turkey Bank Asya launched AsyaCard DIT, combining credit, MasterCard® PayPass(TM) contactless payments and an integrated municipal toll and transit application. EMV migration also continued to gather momentum in Europe, with 235 million MasterCard-branded cards and 6.6 million POS terminals being EMV compliant.
- PayPass continues to gather momentum with the launch of Maestro® PayPass(TM) in the Netherlands; the first European rollout of a MasterCard PayPass card with a Mini Card form factor, in partnership with Spanish institutions, La Caja Insular de Ahorros de Canarias and EURO 6000, and the introduction of 'Tap & Go'(TM) payments to London's iconic black cabs, in a pilot with Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS).
- In June, MasterCard was the official sponsor of UEFA EURO 2008(TM) , the competition for Europe's top 16 football nations, which took place in Austria and Switzerland. In the run up to the tournament, MasterCard initiated over 220 programmes aimed at card activation and usage, involving customer financial institutions and merchants in more than 30 countries around the world. Being present in all eight host cities, MasterCard engaged with millions of football supporters and once again demonstrated its presence at the heart of sports commerce.

- MasterCard continues to deliver innovative new products to European customers and consumers:
- MasterCard worked with CheBanca! to create the first MasterCard-branded 'pocket account' in Italy, offering an alternative to traditional bank accounts with a prepaid card enabling money transfers, charge and credit.
- MasterCard teamed up with the Slovenian company Activa System and the Slovenian Association of the Blind and Visually Impaired (ZDSSS), to introduce the first portable smart card readers for visually impaired customers, helping them to bank and shop more securely online and over the telephone.
- MasterCard worked with Banco Popolare and Ducato in Italy to launch the country's first card that customers can customize with their own design, while in Turkey MasterCard and HSBC launched Europe's first perfumed credit card for women.
- MasterCard consolidated its leadership in co-branding with the launch of the first airline co-branded card in Israel, the Lufthansa Miles & More credit card with CAL.
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