Why should your small business start accepting Maestro cards?

By accepting Maestro cards, your small business could increase its customer base and enhance its standing in your sector. Learn more here

If a customer presented you with a Maestro bank card to take payment, would you be able to accept it?

Despite having an established global presence, many UK small businesses may still not be familiar with this type of card, as Visa cards and Mastercards tend to be more well-known.

Maestro is available in 13 million locations in 100 countries

In this article, we’ll provide an overview of Maestro cards, as well as how and why small businesses should accept them.

In this article we’ll cover:

Find out more about Maestro cards below – skip to the section that you want to learn about the most, or read the full article for the complete overview.

If you’re ready to compare quotes for merchant accounts now, head to the top of the page to fill out the form.

What is a Maestro card?

Founded in 1988, Maestro is a payment card, which is a part of Mastercard. Available from the bank that provides customers’ current accounts, it’s part of a global network of ATMs, stores and websites that accept this form of payment.

Customers can withdraw cash from ATMs (with the Maestro logo), as well as make payments in person or online. As Maestro cards can be used at home or abroad, you may find that overseas customers use this type of card.

If you take a lot of foreign currency payments, it may be worth offering Dynamic Currency Conversion (DCC) so that you can offer your customers the option of which currency to pay in – their own or the local currency.

What are the types of Maestro card?

Offering two types of Maestro bank card, customers may present a Maestro debit card or a prepaid card. While both can be processed in the same way, it’s useful to know what the differences are.

Maestro debit card

  • Linked to a customer’s current account
  • Spending limited by amount of funds in the account
  • May have an overdraft facility attached
  • Can be used for in-person, online or phone payments

Prepaid card

  • Not linked to a bank account – so no overdraft facilities
  • Customers can only access the amount of money on the card
  • Funds loaded onto the card in advance
  • Can be used for payments in the same way as debit cards

Is there anything else you should know?

  • Prepaid cards are offered by banks or online issuers
  • Maestro cards can be linked and connected to PayPal accounts
  • Unlike other card providers, a Maestro credit card isn’t available

According to the MasterCard 2010 Annual Report, there were 666 million Maestro branded cards issued around the world

How to accept Maestro cards

Just like any other card, a Maestro bank card can be accepted in a variety of ways. If you operate a bricks-and-mortar store then you can use card machines to process payments from Maestro cards.

Using credit card machines for small business allows you to accept Maestro cards, along with a number of other bank cards.

Depending on your business needs, you may opt for a countertop terminal, a mobile card reader or a portable machine.

Which type of card machine is best for your business?

  • Countertop terminal – providing a central point of payment, these fixed machines are ideal for corner shops and petrol stations
  • Mobile card reader – offering flexibility and Wi-Fi connectivity, this type of machine suits on-the-go or pop-up businesses, such as a market stall
  • Portable machine – utilising the most of your business space, portable machines allow you to take the payment point to the customer, fitting for restaurants and other hospitality businesses

Alternatively, if you’re looking for an online payment solution (or as an addition to your current offering), then you could consider a merchant account and a payment gateway.

Merchant accounts are a type of account that acts as a collection point between your customer’s payment account and your business account that receives the funds.

Payment gateways are the online service that receives card payment information and processes transactions.

How to let your customers know you’re accepting Maestro cards

  • Display the Maestro logo in your shop front to let customers know you accept it
  • Update your website and online payment platforms with Maestro signs
  • Share on social media and via email, as well as other ways you may connect with your customers

What are the benefits for your business?

Quicker processing times – Card payments cut down the amount of time it takes for you to serve customers, and with the rise of portable machines and mobile card readers, processing card payments is becoming easier and easier.

Plus, Maestro bank cards can be used to make contactless payments as well. With Maestro PayPass, customers can make payments up to £15 by tapping their card on a compatible reader.

Enhanced competition – According to Maestro, in the UK the cards are most commonly accepted in the retail sector, specifically within general and department stores, as well as supermarkets.

If you operate in this sector, then by accepting Maestro cards you’ll be ensuring you’re up to date with your competitors.

Alternatively, if your business is in another sector then you can stand out and offer a different way to pay to your customers that others in your field aren’t.

Security features – For payments made online, each Maestro card has SecureCode, which offers every card a unique code. This helps to ensure that the person making the payment matches the details held with the card issuer.

As a small business owner, that means you can be more confident with the purchases and orders that come in online.

Maestro cards don’t have a Card Verification Value (CVV) number on the back. Once a customer enters their card details online, the mandatory field to enter a number in this box should disappear.

Increased customer base – By adding more ways to pay, you’re increasing the number of people that can use the service or buy the products that your small business offers.

And while it’s impossible to predict profits, if your business has a wider customer base to draw from then there’s the potential for a higher income too.

In a nutshell

This article has provided you with an overview of Maestro cards – what they are, how to accept them and what benefits your business could expect. While we’ve offered detailed information throughout, here are the key takeaways:

  • Maestro cards are part of Mastercard and form a global network
  • There are two types of Maestro bank cards available: debit and prepaid
  • The cards are provided by a bank or an online issuer
  • Process payments from Maestro cards with a card machine or a payment gateway
  • Inform customers you’re accepting Maestro cards with shop signs or online logos
  • Keep up with your competitors by accepting Maestro cards if you run a retail business
  • Enhance your payment offering and stand out from the crowd in other sectors
  • Accepting Maestro bank cards offers a fast, secure and globally recognised payment method to your customers

What are the next steps?

Now that you’ve learned more about what Maestro cards are, along with the different ways to accept them and the potential benefits for your business, you’re ready to move on to the next step. How?

Speak to an expert today – Startups can help with this. Complete the form at the top of the page to compare quotes.