Lloyds expands partnership with Visa

Visa will continue to provide all Lloyds Banking Group’s consumer and business debit cards, including over 30 million Visa credentials already in issue, as well as the majority of consumer and commercial credit cards with around 10 million cards migrating to Visa by the end of 2026.

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Interesting, I can’t think the last time a bank moved from Mastercard to Visa, and Visa’s list of UK credit card issuers has been thin for a long while.

End of 2026 is also quite an ambitious timescale as these things go. That said MBNA already have some legacy Visa products so presumably their backend is good to go.

Indeed, with MBNA being plugged in to Visa Credit, and all the other brands being dependent on Visa Debit, one would assume they are totally capable of all kinds of Visa issuance already.

This will leave me with no Mastercard credit card

Plenty of credit Mastercards in the sea without LBG

Not necessarily the case that there will be no Mastercards at all at LBG either - they make reference to most credit cards converting. This could well mean that “standard” credit cards do but Halifax Clarity, for example, doesn’t.

Much as they do have some Visa cards within their legacy but currently-active cardholder base now.

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Indeed. In fact with Natwest Group halting the rollout of Mastercard and starting to issue new Visa Debit cards it seems issuers are wising up to the value of not being semi-permanently wedded to one network - it’s not just their customers playing the switching bonus game!

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True equally but if Visa has given them a decent enough deal, they could simply phase out credit Mastercards.

I doubt they’d keep issuing Mastercards just for something niche like Clarity; when it could be easily renewed as Visa or even closed to new business.

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True, although one route to meet a “convert all cards” deal with Visa could be to make Clarity a legacy product, as you suggest, and then convert all active products to Visa. Much as MBNA still has legacy Visa products now even though all other LBG credit cards are Mastercard.

I personally think Clarity being a Mastercard is quite a draw and a Clarity Mastercard along with a Barclaycard Visa is a popular 0% FX fee option. They may not want to risk losing these customers if they are unhappy with a transition, but they equally might push it through anyway.

I suppose it all depends on just how much of a cash incentive Visa are willing to offer them.

I don’t think Halifax Clarity would lose that much business due to shifting from Mastercard to Visa.

I think the ‘vanilla’ MBNA/Lloyds/BoS/Halifax offerings are probably the most likely to switch soonest though.

There is no reason for Clarity to remain a Mastercard should the rest of the portfolio migrate.

Simply put most end users pay little attention to the underlying network; if anything Visa is more prestigious than Mastercard.

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I’m ignorant on this subject. Other than breadth of acceptability, what determines the relative popularity of the new networks?

Brand awareness. Although I’m not convinced there’s a huge breadth of difference anymore, in the UK at least.

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Ah, that was my thinking. Nothing too complicated, then.