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"Visa" and "Mastercard". "Mastercard" and "Visa" in Russia. Visa and Mastercard
"Visa" and "Mastercard". "Mastercard" and "Visa" in Russia. Visa and Mastercard

“Visa” and “Mastercard” are payment systems that many banks around the world use to make payments on cards owned by both individuals and legal entities. More about systems, about the history of their occurrence, about how they differ, will be discussed in our article. We will also answer the question of what to do if your Visa and Mastercard cards are blocked.

visa and mastercard

A bit of history

It all started with the fact that in 1958 an American bank, namely the Bank of America, issued a payment card, by the way, a novelty for its time. After that, the flow of customers who wanted to get a “piece of plastic with money” increased so much that they had to create a separate service company called Bank Americard Service Corporation - this was the prototype of the Visa payment system. She received her memorable name a little later. And this is not an abbreviation, but literallyin the sense of the word - “visa”, a short and easy-to-remember name. For the first time, cards with a bright blue logo were released in 1976. As for the Master Card, it was founded a little later (if we count 1958 as the year of the foundation of Visa), namely in 1966. Several, again, American banks entered into an agreement to release a single payment system called the Interbank Card Association. Later it was also changed, choosing a more capacious and concise Master Card.

mastercard and visa cards

Market share of payment systems

Because "Visa" and "Mastercard" are extremely popular systems, one of these logos can be found on 83% of payment cards in America and other developed countries. Actually, "Visa" is somewhat more popular than its competitor, it has a share in the world market of about 57%, which makes up most of it. As for Mastercard, the figures here are somewhat more modest - 26%. Today, cards bearing one of these logos are accepted in more than 200 countries around the world. Note that Visa and MasterCard are payment systems originally based on the dollar. No wonder, because their homeland is the United States. But, one way or another, you can get plastic in almost any currency in the world, most banks work with them.

What is the difference between MasterCard and Visa cards?

visa and mastercard system

Actually, if you are in Russia and ask this question to an employee of a public or private bank, then you are unlikely to receive a certainanswer. For Russia, there are no significant differences that could drastically affect the choice of system. Banks themselves sometimes arrange promotions and advertising campaigns calling for choosing one or another system, but rather, this means that their terms of cooperation are more favorable. Of course, the payment system "Visa" and "Mastercard" are different from each other. Firstly, the settlement currency for the Visa system is exclusively the dollar, which means that all payments that require currency conversion (for example, you pay with a Visa card to buy a TV in China) will be made through the dollar. There is some choice in the Mastercard system, since it works not only with the dollar, but also with the euro. In some cases, this may be more beneficial. Moreover, in Russia, for such payments, correspondent accounts are used specifically in euros.

Which card to choose: with the system "Visa" or "Mastercard"?

payment system visa and mastercard

No need to say that a piece of plastic - a bank card - is not an account yet, but only a path, a key to it. And he, the account, in Russia can be in rubles, euros or American currency - in dollars. In general, as mentioned above, you need to pay attention to choosing a card linked to a specific payment system when you often travel abroad or make purchases in foreign online stores. If you intend to use "plastic" exclusively at home, then the "Visa" and "Mastercard" systems are equivalent. But travelers or shopaholics have something to think about. Here are some examples: let's say youyou are in Amsterdam and want to pay for a hotel, while having a card linked to a ruble account. When paying with a Visa card, the currency conversion will go as follows: rubles-dollars-euro, and nothing else. When using a card with the Mastercard logo, the scheme is simplified: rubles-euro. Given that double-triple currency conversion is an extra percentage, albeit a small one, withdrawn from your account, it is still better to give preference to Mastercard cards for frequent trips to Europe to countries with the euro currency and others. As well as for trips to the USA, it is still better to use the link to the “Visa” system.

Freedom of choice: a little more about the features of the cards of the payment systems in question, which may affect your preference

payment by visa and mastercard

The list below shows some features of the Mastercard and Visa systems in Russia and other countries of the world:

  • Due to its prevalence, the Visa payment system has many more ATMs for withdrawing money in the world and in Russia than its competitor, the Mastercard operator. This can be a significant plus in favor of choosing Visa cards if you are used to traveling to exotic and not quite civilized countries. In Cambodia, for example, there are very few ATMs, so the probability of seeing a blue logo there is much higher than any other.
  • It is noteworthy that both systems do not have limits for withdrawing money from ATMs that belong to third-party systems. This can make life and travel in China much easier,where the most common payment processor is the local China UnionPay.
  • Please note that paying with Visa and MasterCard cards for online purchases has such a nuance. The so-called “confirmation code”, or rather its designation, is different for systems. So, for Visa cards, the abbreviation CVV2 is adopted, and for Mastercard another one is CVC2.

These are the differences, but the main thing is the issue of converting funds when traveling abroad. Remember a simple rule: if you are going to Europe, choose Mastercard cards, if in the USA - Visa, in Russia - what you like best, or what the bank offers.

Visa and Mastercard cards of Sberbank of Russia

mastercard and visa in russia

The main bank of the country issues cards that can be linked to one of the considered payment systems. You can make your own choice. Also, the bank, together with large Russian and foreign companies, offers various bonus programs, which can later be converted into additional incentives, into free purchase of air tickets, and so on. Before issuing a card, consider what lifestyle you prefer and what services you use most often. For example, if your work or business involves frequent flights, or you just travel a lot alone or with your family, it will be beneficial to choose the Visa system and connect the card to the joint program of Sberbank and Aeroflot - Aeroflot-Bonus. By making a payment by “plastic”, you accumulate virtual miles, which after that can be quite converted intoreal miles - you can exchange them for a ticket to anywhere in the country or the world. Details of such programs can be found in any branch and branch of Sberbank. This is how cards are used not only conveniently, but also profitable.

What to do if the card is blocked? Typical reasons for disconnecting a card from the system

It is a nightmare for any traveler - when paying for goods abroad, suddenly find that his Visa and Mastercard cards are blocked. What to do in such cases? First, don't panic. The fact is that banks never turn off your card “on purpose”, this is mainly done by a system whose settings contain some criteria that allow you to calculate the malicious use of the card (for example, it was stolen from you and someone wants to commit purchase). These indicators may include:

  • Transactions made abroad, while you have not traveled abroad before. This may equate to atypical customer behavior and ultimately lead to card blocking.
  • The amount of the transaction. For example, if you “suddenly” wanted to make a large purchase, having spent all the money that is on the account, and even abroad, for settlement, this is almost one hundred percent an operation that is part of the so-called risk group.
  • Your typical purchases are also tracked. If earlier in stores you bought clothes, groceries and cosmetics with a card, and then suddenly wanted to buy the most modern computer or laptop, or, say, skis with boots, then this can also lead to blocking the card.
visa and mastercard cards are blocked

Also, the system will instantly disconnect your plastic from service if you made a purchase in Omsk an hour ago, and after 60 minutes tried to withdraw money from it at a US ATM. Agree, it is physically impossible. But the case described is a typical card fraud that banks have learned to track quite well. In general, we can conclude that the blocking of financial institutions is carried out for our own good. In order to somehow prevent this unpleasant surprise, in the application for a card, you can additionally indicate which countries you visit most often in order to remove them from the risk group, as well as warn the bank every time you travel abroad. Often this really helps to keep your “account key” in working condition and not end up in the middle of Paris or New York with a useless piece of plastic in your hands. But this is only a preventive measure, below we have given a brief guide on what exactly needs to be done when the Visa and Mastercard cards are blocked.

Quick guide to unlock cards of famous payment systems

If you are in Russia, the easiest way is to go to the nearest bank branch and write an application for unlocking cards. Usually it is put back into operation right in front of you. Some financial institutions, mostly private ones, provide card unlocking services over the phone. In this case, you can call the multi-channel line and, having connected with the operator and called the card number, code word, and also, possibly, by answeringa few questions regarding your personal data and payments made, unblock your card. Important - when you receive the plastic, ask if it is possible at all if your “key to the account” is turned off to reactivate its work by phone. Many banks provide this type of service, and many do not. Therefore, if you are suddenly left with a blocked “Visa” or “Mastercard” card issued by Russian institutions, and the bank does not support the function of unlocking the card without a personal visit to one of its branches, it will be impossible to unlock it.

Conclusions and Conclusion

Unfortunately, all the rules listed in the paragraph above also apply to cards of foreign banks, since their branches are subject to Russian realities. For example, if your Royal Bank of Scotland institution card is blocked abroad, you cannot unblock it at a branch right there, abroad. We'll have to fly back to Russia. One way or another, with frequent trips abroad, you need to clarify the issue of the possibility of unlocking cards, and also, just in case, do not “put” your eggs in one basket, but have the “plastic” of several banks at once. Then abroad you will not be left without money.

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