One place where MasterCard can seriously challenge Visa is in Europe. The exchange space there is just gaining traction, and Visa has grabbed less commercial market share there than in the U.S. Plus, MasterCard's plan to merge with Europay International, Europe's top credit card network, will do much to build its brand there.
At least one European e-finance watcher believes MasterCard could catch up with Visa. "I can't see MasterCard having too much of a problem catching up with Visa here," said Steve Cheliotis, communications manager at London-based consultancy Brand Finance L.L.P. "Visa's been slightly stronger in the past in Europe, but MasterCard's catching up."
MasterCard's partners in developing MasterSource could also provide an advantage. OpenRatings.com, a respected e-trust vendor, helped build the technology, and Dun & Bradstreet Corp. provided its global business database.