MasterCard Worldwide or MasterCard Incorporated is an international payment system and a transnational finance industry corporation that consolidates 22,000 financial institutions in 210 countries. Company's General Headquarters are in New York, Westchester Co., USA. Global Operational Headquarters are in Falloneren, a suburb of St. Louis, Missouri, USA. All over the world, the core business lies in the processing of payments between acquirer banks that provide services for sales outlets, emitting banks or credit unions that use the "MasterCard" debit and credit cards to conduct their payments. Since 2006, MasterCard Worldwide has become a publicly traded corporation, while before its first public offering, it was an organization jointly managed by over 25,000 money management organizations engaged in the production of brand cards. MasterCard, or Interbank / Master Charge as it had been initially known, was founded by several Californian banks as a competitor against BankAmericard cards issued by the Bank of America, that later became eminent of Visa credit cards from the Visa payment system. Between 1966 and 1979 MasterCard was known as "Interbank" and "Master Charge".
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