Business: Now It's the No-Credit Card

MasterCard and Visa bitterly fight the plastic money war

It looks and feels like a credit card, and it can ring up purchases as easily. But MasterCard II, which was introduced last week, is not the same as familiar plastic money. With a normal credit card, the bill for a shopping spree may not arrive for weeks. But with MasterCard II, which bankers call a debit card, payment takes place instantly. A computer deducts funds from the shopper's bank account and transfers them into that of the store or restaurant where purchases have been made. Cardholders may carry either the regular MasterCard,...

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