Card Associations

Card Associations, also referred to as card networks or card brands, operate as the architects and promoters of credit and debit cards. They establish a critical link between card issuers, such as banks, and merchants.

The most prominent card associations include Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover. They dictate the regulations surrounding card issuance, transaction processing, interchange fees, and dispute resolution.

Despite their central role in the payment industry, they don’t directly issue cards to customers. Instead, they license banks or other financial institutions to issue cards under their brand.

These associations have the critical responsibility of maintaining and enhancing the standards and guidelines of card transactions, playing an integral part in the efficiency, reliability, and security of the electronic payment ecosystem.