Although MasterCard introduced the Maestro card in 1992, the process of using this card is new to some. Maestro is an international debit card service that allows cardholders to access funds from a bank account all over the world. These cards can be linked directly to a specific bank account or they can be loaded with prepaid funds that can be used until the funds are depleted. This new card has made both international travel and international money transfers much easier than ever before.
One of the benefits of the Maestro card is the fact that it can be used in so many different places. The cards can be used to redeem cash or purchase goods and services in over 100 countries today. Currently, the card is accepted in nearly a million different locations in the United Kingdom alone. Maestro cards can also be used in places such as Australia, where it is a part of the EFTPOS program and associated with the Commonwealth Bank. In Venezuela, the card is the leading banking card, and in Brazil the popular Redeshop services is currently undergoing a brand name change, to be replaced by Maestro. In the United States, the Maestro card can be used on the Cirrus network, also owned by MasterCard.
The key to determining whether or not a this new card can be used in a particular location is to look for the Maestro logo in the window or near the cashier. Sometimes the label will not be clearly displayed, so be sure to ask if the card can be accepted if you don't see the Maestro name posted anywhere. The card should be given to the sales associate at the time of the transaction, where the card is swiped just like any other major credit card. Some merchants will allow a customer to receive cash back as part of the transaction. Each card has a personal identification number (PIN) associated with it to ensure security and fraud protection for the card user. The Maestro card can also be used at many ATM machines to access cash.
Maestro is commonly accepted by retailers, at grocery stores, travel agencies, hotels, restaurants, and various other types of businesses. The card can also be used to purchase goods on the Internet, as it is being accepted by more and more online retailers. A great deal of time and money have been spent improving the security features associated with completing financial transactions via the Internet, making shopping online with the Maestro safer and easier than ever.
One of the benefits of the Maestro card is that it is no longer necessary to carry large amounts of cash or travelers checks to complete transactions. Carrying a Pin-protected card is a much safer proposition in just about any situation, and because the card is accepted in so many places worldwide, cardholders will generally have access to funds when they are needed. Cards such as the Maestro card are making money transfers a simple and safe process compared too many of the alternatives.