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PURCHASE, N.Y. – Visa may have opted to dictate the font size and placement of the word “debit” on its signature debit cards, but MasterCard has opted for the hologram. Beginning January 1, 2004, all of its debit cards that use a signature to verify cardholder identity will have to carry a new Debit MasterCard Hologram which features the word “debit” in the hologram within the MasterCard Identification Area. “Our simple, yet elegant, hologram design will clearly, uniquely and uniformly identify debit MasterCard cards, without diminishing the brand integrity and consumer familiarity built-up in current Member debit programs,” said Richard G. Lyons, Jr., senior vice president, Deposit Access Group, North America, MasterCard International. “The approach presents a visually compelling differentiator for MasterCard debit issuers, while equipping cardholders with an attractive and distinct bankcard.” MasterCard said that the new hologram design “seamlessly integrates into current card manufacturing processes,” and that the price for the cards will not change as a result of the addition. MasterCard also pointed out that the card face otherwise remains unaltered, eliminating the need for MasterCard debit issuers to reorient existing debit program names, or renegotiate standing agreements with partners.

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