Everything you need to know about Maestro

What is Maestro, how does it work, and how can merchants integrate this payment method into their e-commerce store?

Maestro: A popular debit card used by shoppers around the world

Maestro is a payment method that is used for making transactions with debit cards. It is a brand of debit card that is issued by Mastercard and is accepted at merchants around the world. When a transaction is made, money is debited right away from the cardholder’s checking or savings account.


Maestro cards can be used to get cash from ATMs as well as make purchases in stores, online, or over the phone. As they are secured by the same security mechanisms in place for Mastercard debit cards, they provide a practical and secure way to make payments and access funds.


Read on to learn more about Maestro and why it’s such an important payment method globally.

Maestro infographic PayU payment methods encyclopedia

What is Maestro?

Maestro is a brand of online-only debit cards owned by Mastercard. Consumers can obtain Maestro debit cards from associate banks, with the card linked to the cardholder’s current account.


What is the difference between Maestro and Mastercard? While Maestro is available only as a debit card, Mastercards can be issued as a debit, credit, or prepaid card. Many online and offline retailers worldwide accept Maestro as a trusted payment choice for customers. 




How does Maestro work?

Maestro is an international payment method that lets buyers pay using a debit card. Customers need to add their card details when completing a purchase and wait for the system to process their request.


The system works almost in the same way as online banking customers can use Maestro to pay online without hassle.


Maestro uses the same 3D Secure protocol as traditional credit cards and other payment methods to carry out a one-time identity verification, helping to prevent fraud and significantly increase payment security




Why do merchants and consumers use Maestro?

Maestro cards are recognized worldwide, and since debit purchases are deducted directly from the current accounts, it’s easy for customers to track where they spent their money. Payments made via Maestro cards also reduce the need for cash, making transactions safer.


As a product of Mastercard, Maestro uses the same security protocols as in credit card processing. This means its merchants need to use the 3D Secure protocol, which usually comes in the form of an OTP or other verification form on a third-party website. Another advantage for e-commerce businesses is that customers cannot reverse a transaction made through Maestro if they use their own cards. When funds are wired directly from the customer’s bank account to a merchant’s account, there is also a guarantee that the business will receive payment for selling goods and services.


The Maestro brand is well-known and popular across Europe. For merchants targeting this region, or already selling there, having Maestro as an available payment method is recommended. Banks from over 100 countries all over the world issue cards by the Maestro brand, ensuring a wide audience reach across various markets.




How can merchants start accepting Maestro?

The easiest way to start accepting Maestro cards is by implementing a payment gateway that includes Maestro as one of the available payment options. PayU provides access to Maestro as well as hundreds of other payment methods through our single integration global payment platform.

Maestro FAQs (4)

In which countries is Maestro used?

Maestro is accepted in 93 countries across Europe, Asia, and the Americas.

What are the advantages of accepting Maestro as a payment method?

Maestro cards are recognized worldwide, and since debit purchases are deducted directly from the customer’s bank account, it’s easy for customers to track where money is being spent. Payments made via Maestro cards also reduce the need for cash, making transactions safer. The Maestro brand is particularly well-known and popular across Europe.

What are the interchange fees of Maestro?

Maestro interchange fees are variable. In Europe, they amount to c. 0.3-0.4% and in the US, 2%.

Is the Maestro card to be discontinued?

From July 2023, banks and other card issuers will no longer issue Maestro cards. They will need to issue Debit Mastercards instead.