NatWest is to convert all of its debit cards to Mastercard, giving the card scheme a massive leg-up in its efforts to break the UK dominance of rival Visa.
The agreement includes all NatWest Group brands: NatWest, Royal Bank of Scotland, Ulster Bank and Coutts, totalling 16 million cards.
The deal demonstrates Mastercard’s drive to increase the issuance of its debit cards across the UK and Ireland, extending its coverage to approximately one in three of all consumer debit cards in circulation by banks in the UK and one in four in Ireland, once card conversions are complete.
Across Europe, almost 200 million consumers now use Debit Mastercard to pay at 43 million locations instore, online and in-app, but Visa has long held the trump card in UK debit card issuance.
Salim Secretary, head of payment schemes and partnerships, NatWest says: “For the last year we have been extensively considering how we develop more tailored payment options for our customers. As part of this we will be extending our existing relationship with Mastercard beyond credit cards and into debit payments. We believe this partnership will enable us to offer more tailored payment options to our customers however they wish to pay – whether in store, online or via mobile devices.”