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Mastercard, one of the world’s most recognizable brands, unveiled the evolution of its brand identity, including a modernized and simplified update to its iconic red and yellow logo and new look and feel for branded communications and experiences. It was announced today.

The ability to thrive in a digital age as well as position Mastercard as a forward-thinking, human-centered technology company is fundamental to this change.

“Mastercard is one of those unique brands that is instantly recognizable around the world,” said Raja Rajamannar, chief marketing and communications officer. “To thrive in this new digital world where business moves faster than ever, we want to modernize and elevate the brand in a design that is simple and elegant, yet unquestionably Mastercard.

“We’ve been on a fantastic trajectory, with digital technology being anincreasingly important part of our business,” Rajamannar added, “Now it’s timefor our brand to embody the company we’ve become.”

Designing a brand mark to work seamlessly across all digital platforms, retail channels and connected-devices, while preserving its heritage was key to the overall effort, which also includes the most comprehensive brand design system ever introduced globally within Mastercard.

The evolved brand identity will be rolled out to all Mastercard products, communications, and experiences, starting with Masterpass later this month, and across Mastercard beginning in the fall.

The original banks behind MasterCard were United California Bank (later First Interstate Bank and subsequently mergedinto Wells Fargo Bank), Wells Fargo, Crocker National Bank (also subsequently mergedinto Wells Fargo), and the Bank of California (subsequently merged intothe Union Bank of California).

In 1966, the aforementioned group of California banks formed the InterbankCard Association (ICA). With the help of New York's Marine Midland Bank, now HSBC Bank USA, these banks joined withthe ICA to create "Master Charge: The Interbank Card". The card wasgiven a significant boost in 1969, when First National City Bank joined, merging its proprietary Everything Card with Master Charge.

In 1968, MasterCard International and Eurocard starteda strategic alliance, which effectively allowed MasterCard access to theEuropean market, and for Eurocard to be accepted on the MasterCard network. The Accesscard system from the United Kingdom joinedthe MasterCard/Eurocard alliance in 1972.

In 1979, "Master Charge: The Interbank Card" was renamed simply"MasterCard". In the early 1990s MasterCard then bought theBritish Access card and the Access name wasdropped.

In 2002, MasterCard International merged with Europay International SA, another largecredit-card issuer association, which for many years issued cards under thename Eurocard (payment card).

In 2006, MasterCard International underwent another name change toMasterCard Worldwide. This was done in order to suggest a more global scale ofoperations. In addition, the company introduced a new corporate logo adding athird circle to the two that had been used in the past (the familiar card logo,resembling a Venn diagram, remains unchanged). Anew corporate tagline was introduced at the same time: "The Heart ofCommerce".

In 2010, MasterCard expanded its e-commerce offering with the acquisition of DataCash, a UK-based payment processing and fraud/risk management provider.

In 2012, MasterCard announced the expansion of its mobile contactless payments program, including markets across the Middle East.

In 2014, MasterCard acquired Australian leading rewards program manager company Pinpoint for an undisclosed amount.

MasterCard teamed with Apple in September 2014, to incorporate a new mobile wallet feature into Apple's new iPhone models, enabling users to more readily use their MasterCard, and other credit cards.

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