MasterCard Worldwide Earns Third Consecutive Processing Platform Availability Award

Processing Platform Receives Top Honors for Overall System Availability and Processing Excellence

ST. LOUIS, Dec. 14 ( -- MasterCard Worldwide today announced it was awarded the 2006 ITUG (International Tandem Users' Group) NonStop Availability Award for overall system availability and processing excellence. This is the third consecutive year that MasterCard has received top honors for its commitment to processing reliability and bested a global set of entrants, including major competitors.

"This award recognizes our efforts to achieve the highest standards in processing and reliability," said Roy Dunbar, president, MasterCard Global Technology and Operations. "We know that our consumers, merchants and financial institutions count on MasterCard for reliability and availability of our global network, and we are pleased that our efforts are acknowledged as being among the best in the world."

The ITUG NonStop Availability Award is presented annually to information technology companies that use HP NonStop servers to maintain the highest overall system availability and exercise sound quality assurance practices. Award entries from around the world are evaluated on network availability, business continuity management practices and service delivery to end-user customers. Finalists for the 2006 award included Bank-Verlag GmbH, Belgacom and VISA.

The primary use of HP NonStop servers at MasterCard is for online transactions processed through the MasterCard Debit Switch. The MasterCard Debit Switch moves messages (such as a request to a bank for authorization) between merchant banks and banks that issue MasterCard debit cards, Cirrus and Maestro-branded cards.

"Our cardholders rely on MasterCard debit cards and Cirrus ATM cards to manage payments in their daily lives," said Rick Lyons, global head of debit and prepaid strategy, MasterCard Worldwide. "This award is recognition of the superiority of our technology in ensuring our cards can be used 24 hours a day, seven days a week, nearly anywhere in the world."

"We built our platform focused on ensuring a good experience for consumers and merchants at the point of sale, offering speed and constant availability," said George Spies, senior vice president of debit processing, MasterCard Worldwide. "The ITUG NonStop Availability Award is a strong validation of our technical architecture and staff commitment."

The MasterCard Debit Switch

The MasterCard Debit Switch is an advanced processing network that is fast, reliable and offers 100% application availability. It is accessed through a single connection, and provides the high standards for security, speed and efficiency that are expected from one of the world's most recognized consumer brands.

The MasterCard debit processing platform supports:

* Maestro