In breaking news for European merchants, it was reported today that Mastercard will cease to issue Maestro cards from July 2023. The announcement could have far-reaching impacts for Europe’s domestic card schemes, which are often co-badged with Maestro or V-Pay for the purposes of international transactions. With some exceptions (including Switzerland, Russia, and Belarus), Maestro cards will be gradually replaced with Mastercard Debit cards.
According to Maximillian Fuchs, Business Development Consultant at CMSPI, “If removing Maestro means more instances of Mastercard-only debit cards, we could see a significant loss of competition in the European payments market. We’ve already seen these exclusivity arrangements in Germany, and merchants are concerned that ending Maestro could be the next step in weakening the domestic Girocard scheme.”