Mastercard Incorporated (stylized as MasterCard from 1979 to 2016 and mastercard since 2016) is an American multinational financial services corporation headquartered in the Mastercard International Global Headquarters in Purchase, New York, United States. The Global Operations Headquarters is located in O’Fallon, Missouri, United States, a suburb of St. Louis, Missouri. Throughout the world, its principal business is to process payments between the banks of merchants and the card issuing banks or credit unions of the purchasers who use the “Mastercard” brand debit, credit and prepaid to make purchases. Mastercard Worldwide has been a publicly traded company since 2006. Prior to its initial public offering, Mastercard Worldwide was a cooperative owned by the more than 25,000 financial institutions that issue its branded cards.
Mastercard, originally known as Interbank/Master Charge, was created by several California banks as a competitor to the BankAmericard issued by Bank of America, which later became the Visa credit card issued by Visa Inc. From 1966 to 1979, Mastercard was called “Interbank” and “Master Charge”.