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With the planned abolition of the Maestro payment system in 2023, MasterCard and Visa are relying on debit cards for payment in shops and online shops. This is not good news for winegrowers and wine merchants: in Switzerland and Italy, transaction costs have risen massively with their introduction.

Mastercard will no longer issue Maestro cards from mid-2023. This announcement has caused unrest not only in Germany. Industry experts fear significantly higher fees from the switch to the debit Mastercard - and also an increasing dependence on US financial service providers. What is in store for the wine trade?

The Maestro card with the red-blue circles is a debit card of the credit card company Mastercard. It supplements the bank cards that can usually only be used in one's own country with use abroad. For this purpose, the credit card company Eurocard, based in Brussels, and the US financial group Mastercard had already jointly introduced the Maestro debit card in 1991. At that time, Eurocard issued guarantee cards for payment with Eurocheques. Mastercard, on the other hand, supplied the technology for digital card payments. This resulted in the ec card, which was popular for many years. The strategic alliance of both providers made it possible to charge the payment amount directly to the customer's account - unlike with a credit card - even for international payments.

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