Mastercard vs Visa


I totally don’t get it what is wrong with these “old” EU countries. Why so poor acceptance of cards? Does merchants think accepting just maestro cost them less money? Very weird tactic.


It probably does cost less. If I thought about it from the perspective of a card machine package seller, there isn’t a chargeback scheme for Maestro. I would charge more per transaction due to the risk of a chargeback for mastercard and visa.

On top of that due to the way maestro works they would get the money sooner.


I am sure that in the Netherlands accepting only Maestro (and V Pay) will cost the merchants less money (because of agreements with the payment processors).

And since ‘every’ Dutch citizen has a Maestro or V Pay card this also does not cost them hardly any sales.

When a ‘lost’ foreigner enters their shop they just ask to pay cash. That is also the reason (more foreign visitors) why in Amsterdam Visa and Mastercard acceptance (especially in the city center) is much better.


The fees the merchant has to pay for MC and Visa is higher than Maestro and V-Pay in Switzerland as well. Credit card brand’s traditionally charge a percentage as fee, the pure debit cards used to be fixed fee based per transaction and much lower than CC. This is currently changing somewhat…


In most of the countries where Maestro and V-Pay are the only payment methods accepted by many merchants, there is a lower demand for card payments because cash remains popular with consumers. In the more cashless societies, merchants are happier to pay higher fees to accept card payments because the majority of consumers pay by card and if merchants don’t accept all major cards, then they will lose business.


Interesting they talk only about Credit cards and not about Debit cards…

In Czech we just pay 1.95 % from every transaction (Visa, Mastercard, Maestro, American Express) when using SumUp terminals.

I don’t understand why is it more expensive in Germany.


EC should be debit cards.


In the UK, charges a 1.69% flat rate to accept all card types, including American Express and Diners Club.


Probably the same reason why some countries charge more for the same product than others.


If the underlying costs are not higher in Germany than in the UK, is there any objective justification in charging more in Germany within the framework of the EU single market?


So many things in this world have no other justification than “reasons”. I don’t like it, but there’s not much you can change, or?


Yes. Local purchasing power.


With the passporting law within the EU it would theoretically be possible that a merchant chooses his bank and acquirer based on offers and no longer needs to stay within his home country and be locked in with higher prices. There already have been judgements supporting this but there it still a lot going on in the finance industry to make cross border competition hard for the customer, in this case the merchant, especially for the small ones.


True, but between one currency and another it is easier to vary the charges. My example of the UK vs Germany was a bad one. Better examples would be between Eurozone countries, where prices vary by the same providers.


Keep in mind that B2B is sometimes out of the scope of consumer rights regulations. IBAN discrimination, for example.


One loophole would be regional discounts. A company that operates websites for specific countries can have discounts limited to specific regions. But you should be able to buy a train ticket on a German website if it’s on discount there instead of being forced to buy it on a UK website.


I don’t think it was a bad example. More a “tricky” one. In Germany, Sumup charges 0.95 % for Maestro / Vpay, 2.75% for Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Diners Club, Discovers and Union Pay.

Everyone here is probably aware by now that the majority of card payments in Germany is handled on the Girocard network. Banks issue Girocards and co-badge them with Maestro or Vpay to offer acceptance outside Germany.

With co-badged cards, national transactions run on the Girocard network, and outside of Germany, Maestro / Vpay are used.

Over 98 % of German customers have a debit card (read: Girocard), about 36 % a credit card (read: charge or revolving credit card). About 80 % of all card payments are debit transactions, 19 % credit card transactions.

So a vast majority of card transactions runs on the Girocard network. Girocard transactions are considerably cheaper for German merchants. iZettle / Sumup are not connected to the Girocard network. So every transaction that could be done on Girocard is done with Maestro / Vpay.

If they would price their services like in the UK (or another EUR country with one-price-fits-all), they would not be competitive with established payment providers.


In France everyone has either a Visa or a Mastercard: these are the standard cards issued by banks to their customer. AFAIK, most banks give you a choice. For various reasons I have a French Visa card, but also a Dutch MasterCard and also a Duch Maestro: after many years of staying in France I had only 1-2 case when I could not use the Maestro card. In general, I could use any of those three cards interchangeably.


In the end it’s simply just a moving information over the internet
Moving 1 and 0
Then making a translation with card

Cost should be pretty low


Hi, I saw this coming for a long time from Revolut yet not in place unfortunately. For me it’s crucial as I’m travelling quite often to countries where MC is not accepted. I experienced that I was about to pay in restaurants and my Revolut card was rejected. They had to bring various terminals to execute the payment and oftentimes I had to pay with cash. Which again is a problem as I cannot withdraw money from Visa ATM only with my MC.

I wish for an option to choose what type of card if would use based in the country I travel to.

The fact that Revolut decides, based on my country of residence, to issue either MC or Visa card is pointless. I understand that Revolut was created by the idea of travelling around the world and thus skipping expensive bank exchange system for foreign currencies.

I would really appreciate if an option to chose between Visa or MC would be available. Thank you for advocating for this. :wink: