Statement from MasterCard Canada

TORONTO, Feb. 12 /CNW/ - While MasterCard cannot make specific comment on the Competition Bureau's announcement today, MasterCard Canada has supported, and continues to support, market-driven competition in debit and the removal of barriers to such competition.

"Vigorous competition benefits all parties," said Jennifer Reed, Vice President, Communications and Government Relations, MasterCard Canada. "MasterCard will continue to focus on providing a competitive, user-friendly, and balanced debit service to all Canadian stakeholders through its array of point-of-sale and ATM debit products, contactless debit, its international reach, greater network reliability, and continuous innovation."

    MasterCard reiterates the following key points regarding Maestro(R) debit:

    MasterCard Canada is actively expanding its Maestro debit product in
    Canada and is delivering compelling benefits to consumers and merchants.

    Status of Maestro in Canada

    -   Since late 2008, MasterCard has been working with acquirers to
        facilitate Maestro acceptance for merchants who choose to accept it
    -   There are many Canadian merchants already accepting Maestro and
        seeing the benefits of a less expensive, technologically superior
        debit system
    -   Both BMO and CUETS have Canadian cardholders with Maestro active on
        their cards and MasterCard continues to discuss Maestro with other

    About Maestro

    -   Maestro is PIN-based debit payment
    -   It is a well-established, proven debit solution being used by more
        than 650 million cardholders in more than 100 countries
    -   The Maestro payment process is no different from Canadians' use of
        debit to-date: PIN-based authorization, and direct withdrawal from
        the cardholder's account
    -   Maestro capability sits on the cardholder's bank card where their
        current debit payment and ATM system access capacity also exists (not
        on their credit card or a separate card)

    Benefits for Consumers

    -   With Maestro, Canadian consumers can shop with debit in more than 100
    -   The Maestro system has greater scale and reliability so consumers can
        shop with confidence

    Benefits for Merchants

    -   Merchants control the decision to add Maestro debit capability to
        their terminals. MasterCard does not endorse cardholder-directed
        routing of debit transactions as it puts merchants at a disadvantage
    -   Maestro has a flat fee, and no interchange (a percentage fee based on
        the price of the item)
    -   Maestro is less expensive for merchants than all debit offerings in
    -   MasterCard has maintained its economical pricing of Maestro even when
        others were raising their prices
    -   Maestro offers merchants the ability to process the Maestro payments
        of more than 650 million global cardholders as well as those of
        Canadians with Maestro

MasterCard operates a global debit system that delivers significantly greater scale than Canada's incumbent debit network. The Maestro debit network has had virtually zero downtime in more than seven years. The system co-processes at three distinct sites for flawless execution and can scale up to 32 times its average peak capacity.

About MasterCard Worldwide

MasterCard Worldwide advances global commerce by providing a critical economic link among financial institutions, businesses, cardholders and merchants worldwide. As a franchisor, processor and advisor, MasterCard develops and markets payment solutions, processes approximately 22 billion transactions each year, and provides industry-leading analysis and consulting services to financial-institution customers and merchants. Powered by the MasterCard Worldwide Network and through its family of brands, including MasterCard(R), Maestro(R) and Cirrus(R), MasterCard serves consumers and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. For more information go to Follow us on Twitter: @mastercardnews.

SOURCE MasterCard Canada

For further information: For further information: Jennifer Reed, MasterCard Canada,, (416) 365-6664

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