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Maestro Is Retiring - Debit Mastercard Takes Over

Boaz Gam

Boaz Gam


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4 min

Debit Mastercard Will Replace Maestro: What Does It Mean?

Article content
  1. About Mastercard and Maestro
  2. The Reason Behind the Transition
  3. Timeline of the Changes
  4. How Will the Merchants Be Affected?
  5. What’s In It for the Consumers?
  6. A New Chapter for Payments with Mastercard
  7. How Can Payneteasy Help?

Here’s the news: starting from 1 July 2023, banks and credit unions will discontinue issuing Maestro cards for good. With over 400 million cards currently in circulation worldwide, this decision is sure to require significant adjustments.

Read ahead to find out how the changes will be conducted and how exactly this event will influence your business operations.

About Mastercard and Maestro

Mastercard is a global payments industry giant. This corporation links over 22,000 financial institutions in 210 countries.

Maestro is a debit payment card belonging to the Mastercard payment system. It can be used to withdraw cash from ATMs and to pay for the products and services of merchants that support this card.

The Reason Behind the Transition

Debit Mastercard Will Replace Maestro: What Does It Mean?

You may be wondering why Mastercard has announced that it’s time for Maestro to retire after a long period of active circulation. The main reason for this is the growth of ecommerce.

When Mastercard launched Maestro in 1991, the World Wide Web was at its early stage of development. With major changes occurring in all spheres of our lives recently, it’s not hard to imagine how the payment industry has shifted over the course of 30 years.

Nowadays, consumers spend a lot of time in the digital space, performing a variety of actions, from studies and work to socializing and shopping. Therefore, digital presence has become crucial for businesses as well. To stay ahead of the competition, a company has to offer a variety of reliable payment methods to its clients.

However, Maestro payment cards cannot accommodate this demand since they were primarily built for use in physical retail. It is partly due to their numbering convention that’s not compatible with popular ecommerce platforms. The modern standard entails 16-digit card numbers in contrast to Maestro’s 13 to 19 digits. This imposes limitations for users trying to pay with Maestro cards online, making them rather impractical.

Timeline of the Changes

Debit Mastercard Will Replace Maestro: What Does It Mean?

Mastercard plans to implement the changes in a gradual, frictionless manner following this timeline:

  1. 19 October 2021 - Mastercard announced the transition from Maestro to Debit Mastercard
  2. 1 July 2023 - Issuers will no longer be allowed to release Maestro cards
  3. 1 July 2027 - The adjustment will be complete since the last Maestro cards will expire

Here is a more detailed overview of the adjustments that will come in force on 1 July 2023:

  • Mastercard will stop issuing Maestro-branded payment cards.
  • New cards, renewals, and replacements of Maestro cards will be issued as Mastercard-branded products.
  • Instead of releasing Maestro cards, issuers will start providing clients with Debit Mastercards.

All acquirers are advised to ensure Debit Mastercard acceptance readiness by this date.

How Will the Merchants Be Affected?

Debit Mastercard Will Replace Maestro: What Does It Mean?

For merchants cooperating with providers that already accept debit Mastercards, such as Payneteasy, there’s no need to worry - you’re all set for a seamless transition.

However, for businesses that deal with service providers that don’t facilitate such transactions just yet, it’s best to confirm when the software and hardware are planned to be updated.

What’s In It for the Consumers?

Debit Mastercard Will Replace Maestro: What Does It Mean?

The changes announced by Mastercard are, without doubt, positive for shoppers. Mastercard-branded cards live up to the modern standards of the payment ecosystem, making both offline and online purchases possible.

When the consumers switch from Maestro to a Mastercard brand, they will experience the following benefits:

  • Access to a bigger retail network, with a significantly higher acceptance rate worldwide than that of Maestro.
  • Chargeback and purchase protection.
  • Advanced ecommerce capabilities, including convenient online payments, recurring billing setup, and more.
  • Better availability of Mastercard sponsorship assets.
  • Ability to make payments that require a POS pre-authorization, including car rentals, travel agency fees, and hotel bookings.

What’s more, the transition from Maestro to Mastercard branding won’t require anything from the cardholders. Thus, if a Maestro card expires after 1 July 2023, the issuing bank will forward the user a renewed debit card that is linked to their account.

A New Chapter for Payments with Mastercard

Debit Mastercard Will Replace Maestro: What Does It Mean?

Maestro cards had a significant influence on the way we pay. However, the world keeps changing, and the payment methods should adjust to the current consumer and business needs.

Mastercard never fails to follow the trends and bring their cards to a new level when the time comes: from magnetic stripes to chip cards, from signature panels to fingerprint authentication, from first-use plastic to recycled and bio-sourced materials.

The replacement of Maestro by Debit Mastercards is yet another essential step to move with the times.

How Can Payneteasy Help?

If you’re striving to accept a variety of payment methods to provide your clients with the best customer experience and a high level of security, Payneteasy is happy to help.

We offer payment processing services that allow you to accept both Maestro and Debit Mastercards to ensure that the shoppers’ expectations are met. Reach out to us now, and we’ll get back to you in no time with a personalized quote!

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