Maestro (debit card)

Maestro is an international debit card service from MasterCard International. As a debit card while a plastic card is called, which allows a direct and immediate access to the funds or available credit of the current account. In some countries it is common to additionally equip cards of different national debit card systems with Maestro functionality to recognize the additional Maestro logo on the card. For payments abroad, the Maestro debit card system used in these combined cards instead of the national system. One example is the German EC cards, which are often referred for this reason by the issuing banks as EC-/Maestro-Karten.

Maestro function

The Maestro function allows the debit cards of the participating banks, characterized by a logo on the front of the card:

  • Cashless electronic payments at more than 13.8 million acceptance locations in the commercial (as of November 2011)
  • Cash advances at nearly 1 million Maestro -enabled ATMs (as of October 2012)

Maestro transactions

At regional and domestic transactions, the banks of the / of the respective region / country in the settlement are free. They are usually by their own rules and depending on the preference of each card issuer performed under the Maestro brand or a local / national brand. For cross -border Maestro transactions the transaction between the card issuer and the vertragspartnerabrechnenden bank or ATM - Bank location by MasterCard International takes place.

Maestro transactions are basically online transactions. This principle is breached when a card with an EMV chip is used on a EMV capable terminal and the card issuing bank due to certain criteria stored in the chip does not wish to authorize. Consideration is currently also the approval of the off-line mode for the payment of small sums at merchants that have a low risk of fraud. Maestro transactions are usually PIN -based. Overseas, there are only PIN transactions. Only in Europe, there are historical reasons, a few countries, where in addition to PIN transactions not (yet) for signature -based transactions occur.

Maestro Development

The number of Maestro cards has increased from 15 million ( 1993) to about 583 million (09 /2009 ) worldwide increased ( Switzerland: 5 million / Europe: 307 million).

The number of terminals at Maestro parties has changed since 1993 by then nearly 0.3 million to about 11 million (09 /2009 ) worldwide increased ( Switzerland: 84'500 / Europe: 6.5 million).

The number of ATMs with Maestro function was the end of 1998 worldwide 440,000, in December 2010, approximately one million ( Switzerland: 6'200 / Europe: 360,000 ).

Thus one can with a Maestro card today at the exact same number of ATMs to withdraw cash as a MasterCard.

Maestro Secure Code for Internet payments

In Austria could be paid with the Maestro card in the internet. This was based on the use of the already established MasterCard SecureCode process for Maestro. Since there is in Austria with over 6.7 million Maestro cards far more debit cards than credit cards, the Austrian banks and PayLife ( formerly Europay Austria ) had decided to adapt the SecureCode process for Maestro. Due to technical reasons and a low customer acceptance of the procedure was terminated according to the supplier, however, in November 2010.