British lender NatWest switches to Mastercard debit cards from Visa

British lender NatWest is the latest UK retail and commercial bank to switch to issuing Mastercard debit cards from Visa, in an agreement that includes 16 million consumer and business customer cards.

The development sees Mastercard, which has since long been the main provider of UK credit cards, eating into Visa’s lead in debit cards following similar deals with Santander UK and HSBC’s First Direct.

The agreement includes all NatWest Group’s brands, including Royal Bank of Scotland, Ulster Bank and Coutts.

In a statement on Thursday Mastercard said, after the card conversions were complete it would account for around one in three of all consumer debit cards in circulation by banks in the UK, and one in four in Ireland.

“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,” said Salim Secretary, head of payment schemes and partnerships at NatWest.

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