MasterCard is an American multinational corporation and major player in the financial services industry worldwide. The company’s principal services include processing of payments amongst banks that issue debit and credit cards to customers and banks of merchants. These cards carry the hallmark of ‘MasterCard’ on them making them eligible for the services from the company. The company has been publicly traded since 2006 and its cooperative “MasterCard Worldwide” is owned by more than 25,000 financial institutions across the globe. MasterCard Inc. employs a total of 10,300 people as of 2015. Richard Haythornthwaite serves the company as Chairman while Ajaypal Singh Banga as its current President and CEO.
The corporation was founded back in 1966 by many California based banks to give competition to BankAmericard which at the time was issued by Bank of America. It was originally called as Interbank which later was changed to Master Charge. The parent company behind MasterCard was United California Bank and later other banks such as Wells Fargo, Crocker National Bank, Bank of California and Union Bank of California merged in. It was in 1979, that the card was finally renamed MasterCard and has maintained this name ever since. On May 25, 2006, the company was offered publicly and its stocks were traded at NYSE under the symbol of MA.