Mastercard defies debt crisis
PARIS: MasterCard Inc. (MA), which is under pressure from France to cut card payment fees, said European consumers are increasingly using credit and debit cards for purchases, dismissing the sovereign debt crisis. “Our business in Europe has been growing really well,” Ann Cairns, president of international markets at the company, said in an interview in Dubai. “The sovereign debt issue isn’t affecting consumer confidence in the way that it might.” The Purchase, New York-based company said it’s benefiting from strong consumer spending in the Nordic countries, the Netherlands, Germany and Eastern Europe. At the same time, consumers are also turning away from cash in favor of plastic. Mastercard is expanding even as Europe’s financial crisis enters unprecedented territory after Euro-area finance ministers yesterday agreed to a tax on Cypriot bank deposits. Officials unveiled a 10 billion-euro ($13 billion) rescue plan for the country, the fifth since Europe’s debt crisis broke out in 2009.