MasterCard was created in 1966 by several California banks as a competitor to the BankAmericard issued by Bank of America, which later became the Visa credit card.
In 1969 the company teamed up with Eurocard, creating a strategic alliance that gave MasterCard access to the European market.
Today MasterCard Worldwide is a multinational financial services corporation whose principal business is to process payments between banks of merchants and the card-issuing banks or credit unions of the purchasers.
MasterCard provides its services in 210 countries and territories and its cards are accepted at 35 million locations worldwide.
Both Mastercard and Visa have paid approximately $3 billion in damages resulting from a class-action lawsuit filed in January 1996. The litigation cites several retail giants as plaintiffs, including WalMart, Sears, and Safeway.
MasterCard has been a publicly traded company since 2006, trading on the New York Stock exchange under the symbol MA. MasterCard is a member of the S&P 500, is #384 in the Fortune 500, is #113 in FT Global 500, has 13,400 employees and had $12.497 billion in revenue in 2017.