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Company > Mastercard: Business Model, SWOT Analysis, and Competitors 2023

Mastercard: Business Model, SWOT Analysis, and Competitors 2023

Published: Apr 09, 2023

Inside This Article


    Mastercard is one of the leading payment solutions companies in the world. With a strong brand reputation and a vast network of merchants and financial institutions, Mastercard has been able to maintain its market position and continuously grow its business. In this article, we will take a closer look at Mastercard's business model, conduct a SWOT analysis to identify its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, and explore its key competitors in the payment solutions industry as we head into 2023.

    What you will learn:

    • You will learn ## Who owns Mastercard and how the ownership structure affects the company's decision-making and strategic direction.
    • You will learn about Mastercard's mission statement and how it guides the company's operations and priorities.
    • You will learn about Mastercard's business model and the various ways the company generates revenue, including transaction fees, interest income, and value-added services.

    Who owns Mastercard?

    Mastercard is a publicly traded company owned by its shareholders, who have invested in the company through buying its stocks. The company's stocks are listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the ticker symbol "MA". As of December 2021, Mastercard has over 1.5 billion outstanding shares, with a market capitalization of over $400 billion.

    Some of the largest institutional shareholders of Mastercard include The Vanguard Group, BlackRock, State Street Corporation, and Fidelity Investments. These institutional investors own a significant portion of the company's outstanding shares, which gives them a significant say in the company's decision-making processes.

    Mastercard's executive management team is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the company. This team is led by CEO Michael Miebach, who took over from Ajay Banga in January 2021. The company's board of directors, which is elected by the shareholders, provides oversight and guidance to the executive management team.

    Overall, Mastercard is owned by a diverse group of shareholders, ranging from large institutional investors to individual investors. This ownership structure ensures that the company is accountable to its shareholders and operates in their best interests.

    What is the mission statement of Mastercard?

    Mastercard is a globally recognized payment technology company that operates in over 210 countries and territories worldwide. It is one of the leading players in the payment industry, providing cutting-edge payment solutions to individuals and businesses alike. The company's mission statement is "to connect and power an inclusive, digital economy that benefits everyone, everywhere by making transactions safe, simple, smart, and accessible."

    In other words, Mastercard aims to build a world where everyone can participate in the digital economy with equal access and opportunities. The company believes that technology can be a force of good and that it has the power to make people's lives better by providing seamless, secure, and convenient payment solutions. Mastercard's mission statement reflects its commitment to creating a more inclusive and sustainable world by leveraging its expertise in payment technology.

    To achieve its mission, Mastercard is constantly innovating and developing new technologies to improve the payment experience for its customers. The company has invested heavily in research and development to create smarter payment solutions that are faster, more secure, and more convenient. Mastercard is also working to expand its reach and make its payment solutions accessible to more people, especially those in underserved communities.

    Mastercard's mission statement underscores its commitment to responsible business practices and sustainability. The company recognizes that it has a significant role to play in ensuring that the digital economy operates in a way that is fair, transparent, and sustainable. Mastercard is working to minimize its environmental impact and promote ethical business practices that benefit all stakeholders.

    In summary, Mastercard's mission statement is a reflection of its commitment to building a more inclusive, sustainable, and digital economy that benefits everyone, everywhere. The company's focus on innovation and responsible business practices has made it a trusted partner for businesses and consumers around the world.

    How does Mastercard make money?

    Mastercard is a multinational financial services corporation that operates as a payment technology company. It provides payment solutions to businesses, governments, and consumers around the world. The company generates revenue by charging fees on every transaction that takes place using its payment network.

    Mastercard operates on a business-to-business (B2B) model, where it charges fees to merchants for accepting payments from its cardholders. These fees are known as interchange fees, which are typically a percentage of the transaction value. Merchants also pay a fixed fee for each transaction processed using Mastercard's payment network.

    In addition to interchange fees, Mastercard also generates revenue from other sources, such as cross-border fees, processing fees, and data analytics. Cross-border fees are charged to merchants who process transactions in a foreign currency, while processing fees are charged to acquirers who process transactions on behalf of merchants.

    Mastercard also offers value-added services to its customers, such as fraud prevention, loyalty programs, and data analytics. These services are designed to help merchants increase sales and improve customer engagement, while also providing additional revenue streams for Mastercard.

    Overall, Mastercard's revenue model is based on providing payment solutions to businesses and consumers around the world. The company generates revenue by charging fees on every transaction processed using its payment network, as well as offering value-added services to its customers.

    Mastercard Business Model Canvas Explained

    Mastercard is a global payment technology company that connects consumers, businesses, merchants, issuers, and governments in more than 210 countries and territories. The company operates a unique business model that has enabled it to become one of the most successful and recognizable brands in the world of payments.

    To understand Mastercard's business model, we can use the Business Model Canvas (BMC) framework developed by Alexander Osterwalder. The BMC is a visual tool that helps businesses describe, design, and analyze their value proposition, customer segments, revenue streams, cost structure, key activities, partnerships, and resources.

    Here is a breakdown of how Mastercard's business model fits into the BMC framework:

    Value Proposition: Mastercard's value proposition is to provide secure, convenient, and innovative payment solutions for consumers, merchants, and businesses.

    Customer Segments: Mastercard serves a diverse range of customers, including individual consumers, small and medium-sized businesses, large corporations, financial institutions, and governments.

    Revenue Streams: Mastercard generates revenue from various sources, including transaction fees, interchange fees, licensing fees, and other value-added services.

    Cost Structure: Mastercard's cost structure includes expenses related to technology development, marketing and advertising, legal and regulatory compliance, and customer service.

    Key Activities: Mastercard's key activities include developing and enhancing payment technology, building and maintaining partnerships with merchants and financial institutions, and expanding its global network.

    Partnerships: Mastercard partners with a wide range of entities, including banks, merchants, technology companies, and governments, to create value for its customers and stakeholders.

    Resources: Mastercard's key resources include its vast global network, proprietary payment technology, brand reputation, and human capital.

    Overall, Mastercard's business model is driven by its ability to provide innovative payment solutions that meet the needs of its diverse customer base while maintaining a strong focus on security and convenience. The company's success is also built on its strategic partnerships and investments in technology and resources that enable it to stay ahead of the curve in a rapidly evolving payments landscape.

    Which companies are the competitors of Mastercard?

    When it comes to the financial industry, Mastercard is one of the leading companies in the world. However, it is not the only company that offers financial services and products. Mastercard has several competitors, and it is important to know who they are. The following are some of the companies that compete with Mastercard:

    1. Visa Inc.: Visa is one of the top competitors of Mastercard. It is a global payments technology company that operates in more than 200 countries. Visa offers a range of products and services, including credit and debit cards, prepaid cards, and mobile payments.

    2. American Express: American Express is another major competitor of Mastercard. It is a financial services company that offers credit cards, charge cards, travel services, and insurance products. American Express has a strong presence in the United States and is known for its premium cards and rewards programs.

    3. Discover Financial Services: Discover is a direct banking and payment services company that offers credit cards, personal loans, and savings accounts. It is a major competitor of Mastercard in the United States, and its credit cards are known for their cashback rewards and low fees.

    4. JCB Co., Ltd.: JCB is a Japanese credit card company that operates in more than 20 countries. It is a major competitor of Mastercard in Asia and offers a range of credit and debit cards to consumers and businesses.

    5. UnionPay International Co., Ltd.: UnionPay is a Chinese payment card company that operates in more than 170 countries. It is a major competitor of Mastercard in China and Asia and offers credit and debit cards to consumers and businesses.

    In conclusion, Mastercard has several competitors in the financial industry, including Visa, American Express, Discover, JCB, and UnionPay. These companies offer similar products and services to Mastercard and compete for the same customers around the world.

    Mastercard SWOT Analysis

    Mastercard is one of the leading payment solutions companies in the world. Its global reach, innovative technology, and strong brand recognition have helped it maintain a dominant position in the payment industry. However, like any other company, Mastercard is not immune to weaknesses and threats. Here is a closer look at Mastercard's SWOT analysis.


    1. Global Presence: With operations in over 210 countries and territories, Mastercard has a strong global presence. This allows the company to serve a diverse range of customers and expand into new markets.

    2. Strong Brand Recognition: Mastercard is a well-known brand globally. Its iconic logo and marketing campaigns have helped it establish a strong brand identity, which is crucial in the payment industry.

    3. Innovative Technology: Mastercard is known for its innovative payment solutions. The company has been at the forefront of developing new technologies, such as contactless payments and mobile payments, to improve the payment experience for its customers.

    4. Strong Partnerships: Mastercard has established partnerships with numerous banks, merchants, and other payment companies. These partnerships have helped the company expand its reach and offer more payment options to its customers.


    1. Dependence on Banks: Mastercard's business model relies heavily on partnerships with banks. This means that the company is dependent on the banking industry for its revenue, which can be a weakness if the industry faces any significant challenges.

    2. Limited Product Range: While Mastercard offers a wide range of payment solutions, the company's product range is still limited compared to some of its competitors. This could limit its ability to compete in certain markets.

    3. High Fees: Mastercard charges high fees to its customers, which can be a barrier for small businesses and individuals looking for affordable payment solutions.


    1. Growing Demand for Cashless Payments: The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the shift towards cashless payments, presenting a significant opportunity for Mastercard to expand its business.

    2. Expansion into Emerging Markets: Mastercard has already established a strong presence in developed markets. However, emerging markets like Asia and Africa present significant growth opportunities for the company.

    3. Partnerships with Fintech Companies: Mastercard can partner with fintech companies to expand its product range and reach new customers.


    1. Competition from Other Payment Solutions: Mastercard faces intense competition from other payment solutions companies like Visa, PayPal, and Apple Pay. This could limit its market share and revenue.

    2. Regulatory Environment: Changes in the regulatory environment, such as increased regulations or government intervention, could negatively impact Mastercard's business.

    3. Cybersecurity Threats: As a payment solutions company, Mastercard is a target for cybercriminals. Any significant data breaches or cybersecurity incidents could damage the company's reputation and lead to financial losses.

    Key Takeaways

    • Mastercard is owned by its shareholders, who elect a board of directors to oversee the company.
    • The mission statement of Mastercard is to connect and empower people and businesses around the world with innovative payment solutions.
    • Mastercard primarily makes money by charging fees to merchants and financial institutions for processing transactions made with its cards.
    • Mastercard's business model canvas includes key partners, key activities, key resources, value proposition, customer segments, channels, customer relationships, revenue streams, and cost structure.
    • Mastercard's main competitors include Visa, American Express, Discover, and PayPal. A SWOT analysis of Mastercard reveals its strengths in brand recognition and partnerships, weaknesses in dependence on financial institutions, opportunities in emerging markets and technology, and threats from increasing competition and regulatory changes.


    In conclusion, Mastercard is owned by its shareholders and has a clear mission to connect and empower people and businesses all over the world. The company earns revenue through transaction fees and other services, and its successful business model canvas is built on partnerships, innovation, and customer-centricity. While there are several competitors in the payment processing industry, Mastercard remains a leading player with a strong brand and reputation. Finally, a SWOT analysis highlights the company's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, providing valuable insights into its current and future performance. Overall, Mastercard's success is rooted in its ability to adapt to changing market conditions and deliver innovative solutions that meet the needs of its customers.


    What are the weakness of MasterCard?

    1. Security Weaknesses: MasterCard is vulnerable to data breaches, phishing attacks, and other cyber security threats.

    2. Interchange Fees: MasterCard charges high interchange fees which limit the profit margins of merchants.

    3. Dependence on Banks: MasterCard is heavily dependent on banks for processing transactions, which can lead to delays and other issues.

    4. High Fees for Consumers: MasterCard charges higher fees to consumers than other payment methods, such as debit cards.

    5. Fraud Risk: MasterCard is vulnerable to fraud and other criminal activities due to its reliance on card numbers and other sensitive information.

    What is the strength of MasterCard?

    MasterCard's strength lies in its wide acceptance and global network. Its cards are accepted at over 35 million merchants worldwide, offering customers access to cash at over 2 million ATMs. Its strong security features provide customers with peace of mind, and its rewards and loyalty programs provide customers with a variety of benefits. Additionally, MasterCard continually innovates, investing in new technologies to make the payment experience easier and more secure.

    What are 5 examples of weakness in SWOT analysis?

    1. Lack of resources: limited funds, personnel, or technology can hinder progress and limit the scope of a project.

    2. Poor public image: if the public perceives a company or product in a negative light, this can prevent growth.

    3. High competition: strong competition can make it difficult to differentiate and stand out from the competition.

    4. Dependence on a few key customers: a company may be heavily dependent on a few key customers and any disruption in their relationship can be detrimental.

    5. Weak brand recognition: if a company has a weak brand or limited marketing resources, it can be difficult to create awareness and gain market share.

    What is SWOT analysis for credit analysis?

    SWOT analysis is an acronym for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. It is a tool used by credit analysts to assess the financial health of a borrower and their ability to meet financial obligations.

    Strengths: This includes the borrower’s financial resources, credit history, and other positive factors that may help in the repayment of the loan.

    Weaknesses: This includes any factors that could lead to potential financial difficulty, such as a short credit history, limited income, or recent financial losses.

    Opportunities: This includes any potential sources of income that could help the borrower in the repayment of their loan, such as a new job or increased income.

    Threats: This includes any factors that could lead to potential financial difficulty, such as rising interest rates or changes in the borrower’s employment situation.

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