These will gradually disappear from July 1 to make way for a new debit card that will better respond to new e-commerce practices, announced Tuesday Mastercard, the company issuing Maestro cards.
The Maestro brand was launched in 1991. “It was quite revolutionary at the time because the card made it possible to make secure payments in different European countries. It has become like the best payment companion for consumers, also when traveling,” says Henri Dewaerheijd, director of the Belgian-Luxembourg subsidiary of Mastercard.
“But Maestro was developed for physical stores and is not designed for the digital age,” he continues. The company therefore decided to replace all Maestro cards in Europe with a new card, the Debit Mastercard, offering more online payment facilities, while being more widely accepted abroad while Maestro was barely present outside of the Old Continent.
Online commerce has experienced a meteoric rise since the coronavirus crisis. “And this growth continues, even after the peaks seen recently,” adds Dewaerheijd. Last year, 8.5 million Belgians shopped online for around 15 billion euros, with most transactions made using a debit card, figures show by the BeCommerce association.
As of July 1, new Mastercard debit cards and cards to be renewed or replaced will be Debit Mastercard. For existing and still valid Maestro cards, the change will be gradual and will take a maximum of 5 years, which is the life cycle of a debit card.
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