Home Banking What is Maestro, and what sets it apart from Mastercard?

What is Maestro, and what sets it apart from Mastercard?


Maestro and Mastercard are two well-known brands in the debit and credit card industry. You can choose the card that best suits your lifestyle by knowing their similarities and distinctions.

The differences between Maestro and Mastercard are discussed in more detail below. Also, you’ll learn how to purchase a new card and begin using its advantages.

Maestro: What is It?

Mastercard is the company that issues debit cards under the Maestro name. 1991 saw the brand’s introduction by Mastercard.

The first debit network for point-of-sale transactions online was Maestro. For the first time, cardholders in Europe could use their debit cards practically any place. Money can be taken out of ATMs and paid for in-store using Maestro.

Online purchases are possible with several Maestro cards.

It is also the sole card that may be used to make payments in the Netherlands, as any Dutch person will know.

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Mastercard vs. Maestro

A Maestro debit card is issued by Mastercard. It seems to sense that the two could be confused. The primary distinction is the kind of card each brand offers.

Debit cards include Maestro. It can be pre-paid or connected to a bank account. Although Maestro cards are often referred to as credit cards, they are all fact debit cards.

A Mastercard can function as a prepaid, bank debit, or credit card.

Credit versus Debit versus Prepaid

Prepaid and debit cards function essentially in the same way. Cardholders can use the funds in their account to make purchases. This is a bank account when used with a typical debit card. In the case of a prepaid card, it is the funds stored on the card.

Direct withdrawals or payments are made from the available funds.

The operation of a credit card is distinct. Once a month, the cardholder receives a bill or invoice from the bank, which settles transactions as they happen. In essence, the bank or credit card company is lending the money to the cardholder.

How do Maestro debit cards function?

Like a Mastercard debit card, a Maestro debit card functions in the same way. Any type of card can be used to make in-store purchases or withdraw cash from an ATM by cardholders.

The same security measures as Mastercard are used when Maestro cards are used for online purchases. The Mastercard SecureCode system will add a second stage for identity verification for the customer. The verification mechanism is frequently a one-time passcode.

Beyond the predetermined limit, card payments require the cardholder’s signature or PIN. In an ATM, the PIN is always required to withdraw cash. Contactless payments are supported by both Mastercard and Maestro cards.

Where to use Mastercard vs. Maestro

There are about 400 million Maestro cards in use worldwide. Maestro is particularly well-liked in Europe. Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, Belgium, and Switzerland are some of the biggest marketplaces in Europe.

Maestro’s network is just half as big as Mastercard’s. More e-commerce transactions are supported by it. Many e-commerce portals are incompatible with the format of Maestro card numbers, which can have up to 19 digits.

The Mastercard and/or Maestro logos are frequently displayed on the doors of stores to indicate that they accept these cards. At checkout, online retailers frequently display card logos.

You can use a Maestro card to access the Cirrus network of Mastercard ATMs. One of the biggest networks in the world is Cirrus. Millions of ATMs worldwide offer secure cash withdrawals for holders of Maestro and Mastercard cards.

Benefits of using a Maestro debit card

Maestro cards are accepted by shops and ATMs everywhere. Maestro is a wonderful option for folks who live in or will be traveling to Europe because of its popularity.

For managing a budget, debit cards like Maestro have several benefits. Using debit cards instead of credit cards is frequently advised in personal financial advice since you won’t run the risk of accruing debt.

Direct debit from the cardholder’s account is used for purchases. Spending tracking is simpler. When there is no other money available besides what is in the account, the incentive to overspend is reduced.

When traveling, using a debit card can be advantageous. Less tangible cash needs to be carried by cardholders. According to numerous travel advice articles, this is financially and personally safer.

The amount of money in the account can only be used if a debit card is lost or stolen. Nobody wants to experience the anxiety and inconvenience of illicit purchasing. At least the damage won’t be as severe as if a credit card were stolen.

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The benefits of a Mastercard

You can choose a credit or debit card from Mastercard. Debit cards have a lot of benefits. Yet, using a credit card can be a smarter move if you’re making bigger purchases or booking rooms.

One of the two biggest payment processing networks in the world is Mastercard. Mastercard is accepted almost everywhere that accepts credit or debit cards. Cardholders can buy nearly anything online using their cards.

Future of Maestro cards

Despite the many advantages of a Maestro card, Mastercard will no longer offer the product. The major motivation, according to a statement from Mastercard, is to increase cardholders’ capacity to make online purchases. The number of locations where cardholders can use their new debit cards both online and offline will increase significantly.

By July 1st, 2023, banks and card issuers will begin replacing lost or expired Maestro cards. A Mastercard debit card will be the typical alternative.

The updating of a card does not require any activity on the part of the cardholder. They will receive a new debit card from their bank when their Maestro cards expire after July 1, 2023. The new card will function similarly to the Maestro debit card and be connected to the same account.

How to apply for a Mastercard or Maestro

Cards are not directly issued by Mastercard. Bunq offers Maestro or Mastercards that you can use with your account. The procedure is easy:

  • Activate the Bunq app.
  • Click “Cards”
  • Choose either “Add Credit Card” or else select”Add Debit Card” and then click next.
  • Select the desired card.

Within ten business days, the card will be received by mail. You may then start using mobile payments by simply connecting it to Apple Pay or Google Pay.

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