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MasterCard to Enable Cardholders to Keep Account Numbers When Switching Card Programs


MasterCard Product Graduation™ Goes Live Today, Offering Cardholders Greater Convenience to Prevent Disruption To Their Recurring Bill Payments.

Purchase, NY.- MasterCard Worldwide today announced the launch and availability of MasterCard Product Graduation™ in the United States. This patent-pending solution offers more flexibility for cardholders, merchants, and the customer financial institutions that manage accounts. Retaining account numbers will allow cardholders to maintain their recurring bill payments, online shopping profiles, and other automatic payment relationships, providing uninterrupted service for both the consumer and merchant. With this solution, fewer payments will be disrupted when a cardholder switches to a new card program.

MasterCard Product Graduation is also geared towards helping issuers manage the cardholder lifecycle, making it possible for improved account migration within selected consumer and within selected commercial card programs. Customer financial institutions can now address the growing number of cardholders who would like to upgrade or switch to a more relevant card program without having to worry about disruptions or changing account number information.

“Our issuers want the ability to offer their cardholders the most relevant, attractive products that are suited to their specific needs and behaviors,” said Wendy Murdock, Chief Product Officer, Global Product Group, for MasterCard Worldwide. “But until now, moving a cardholder to a new, enhanced product would have meant issuing a new 16-digit account number, potentially disrupting the cardholder’s payment relationships. Product Graduation helps our issuers solve this dilemma by reducing inconvenience to cardholders. Merchants stand to benefit too, as recurring payment relationships they have with their customers can remain intact and uninterrupted.”

In addition, Product Graduation does not mandate any new requirements for acquirers or merchants. Acquirers are already able to receive the required information, announced in October 2006. Also, merchants do not need to worry about installation requirements or making any changes to their point-of-sale systems.

This unique capability is the result of MasterCard enhancements to its technological infrastructure and the design of its core processing systems, reflecting the company’s move toward providing greater functionality at the individual account level.

To ensure the cardholder value proposition is strong, MasterCard developed this functionality with a focus on the operations of issuers, acquirers and merchants and the impact of this capability on the cardholder experience.

“Our goal is to design our products and technology in a way that delivers optimal value, control and flexibility to our customer financial institutions and other partners,” said Murdock. “Product Graduation is the most recent example of how MasterCard delivers targeted programs that are innovative and customizable for individual banks.”


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