While Visa Inc. and Mastercard Incorporated are the two largest payment networks in the United States, by purchase volume, Visa is the largest.
Notwithstanding, Mastercard has higher returns on equity and returns on invested capital that is larger than Visa.
A large part of the premiums for Mastercard is due to accounting practice differences between the two credit cards
Mastercard reduces its’ equity capital base by not retiring shares.
Both companies are now focused on international markets, where digital payment systems are not yet commonplace among governments and businesses.
Both are good investments because they somewhat insulated from defaults on debt compared to banks.