Mastercard’s (MA) network is a critical part of the payments infrastructure across the globe, providing support for various types of digital and mobile payments, both of which are expected to grow rapidly in the coming years. But Mastercard is also helping to shape the future of real-time payments – another space that is expect to grow quickly. Mastercard’s essential role in these markets, combined with its exceptionally profitable business model, makes this stock a compelling long-term investment.
Mastercard’s Business Model
Mastercard is one of the largest payment networks in the world, behind Visa (V) and China-based UnionPay. It has over 2.2 billion payment cards in circulation, which are accepted in over 210 countries (and territories) by over 37 million merchants.
Mastercard, like Visa, is an open network – it processes payments, but does not issue cards. Instead, it works with other financial institutions that issue cards branded with