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MasterCard Leads the Way in European Payments With 15.2% First Quarter Growth in Gross Dollar Volume


Waterloo, Belgium,- MasterCard Worldwide has announced a 15.2% rise to $141 billion in gross dollar volume (GDV) for Europe in the first quarter of 2007. The rise in GDV was accompanied by a 15.9% rise in European purchase volume to $104 billion, driven by increasing cardholder spending on a growing number of MasterCard cards.

Over the first quarter of 2007, a total of 1.28 billion transactions were carried out using MasterCard cards, up 13.4% compared to the same period in 2006.

MasterCard has taken significant steps towards ensuring that its Maestro debit card - 287 million of which are currently held by Europeans - is compliant with all aspects of the SEPA Cards Framework, creating a platform for a smooth transition to the implementation of Europe’s single payment zone from January 2008.

As of 31 March 2007, MasterCard customer financial institutions issued 156 million MasterCard cards in Europe an increase of 17% over the same period in 2006. The total number of acceptance locations in Europe stood at 7.8 million. The number of Maestro and Cirrus-branded cards increased to 287 million in Europe, up 5% over the same period in 2006, with 6.47 million European acceptance locations.

Commenting on the announcement, Javier Perez, President, MasterCard Europe, said:

“The figures announced today provide tangible evidence of the continued and growing importance of the European region to MasterCard’s global business success story. Significantly, double-digit growth in Europe is not only built around established markets such as the UK, France and Germany but increasingly we are seeing rising contributions from countries in Central and Eastern European too.”

Innovation and excellence - in terms of product development and marketing - are at the heart of MasterCard’s European business. Javier Perez said:

"Our ability to create new and exciting payment solutions, that provide benefits to cardholders, retailers and banks alike, means that day-to-day we see more and more of our cards used to replace inefficient and expensive cash transactions.

"In March, we extended our leadership in contactless payments by carrying out the first European card-based OneSmart MasterCard PayPass transaction at a McDonald’s restaurant in Switzerland. Customers can now simply tap their MasterCard on a PayPass reader to make a purchase in McDonald’s restaurants across the country.

“But innovation is not limited to product development. In March we created a powerful new marketing platform around our sponsorship of the UEFA EURO 2008 football championships giving our partner banks access to a series of exclusive assets which can be used to promote Maestro-branded debit cards across Europe.”

Perez concluded: “MasterCard has a long history of driving commerce across Europe and we are determined to use our unrivalled knowledge of the region to continually innovate and deliver bespoke payment solutions to all of our customer segments.”


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