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Is Cirrus Owned By Mastercard?



Is Cirrus Owned By Mastercard?

Is Cirrus a different company of its own, or is it a part of MasterCard? See how MasterCard and Cirrus are related.


Read on to find out what makes Cirrus different from MasterCard.

Is Cirrus owned by MasterCard?

Cirrus is a subsidiary brand of MasterCard. It links various types of cards to ensure an integrated system of ATMs around the world.

It links MasterCard and Maestro credit, debit and prepaid cards, and even Cirrus ATM cards to ATMs around the world. Thus, today, Cirrus is a product of MasterCard. 

Was Cirrus always a part of MasterCard?

Founded in 1982
Acquired by MasterCard in 1987

MasterCard did not always own Cirrus. Until the mid-1980s, it was owned by six banks and corporations. 

These were the Bank of Montreal, the Norwest Corp, the Mellon Bank, the BayBanks Inc., the NBD Bancorp Inc., the First Interstate Bancorp.

Back then, Cirrus was called Cirrus System, LLC. Cirrus System was acquired by MasterCard in 1987 and has since become part of the company. 

Why did MasterCard acquire Cirrus?

Cirrus is a banking software program.

MasterCard acquired the program with the objective of linking MasterCard credit and debit cards with ATMs around the world.

What is the difference between a MasterCard and a Cirrus card?

MasterCard and Cirrus are brands owned by MasterCard. 

While Cirrus specializes in ATM networks, MasterCard offers card services.

MasterCard Cirrus
MasterCard issues debit cards and credit cards. Cirrus is the name of the MasterCard/Cirrus ATM network, which can be accessed by those with Cirrus ATM or debit cards.
MasterCard handles offline transactions involving credit and debit cards. 
Cirrus handles online transactions that require a PIN. 

ATMs displaying the Cirrus logo can be used to withdraw cash with any transaction card that carries the Cirrus logo. You can tell if your card is a MasterCard or a Cirrus by looking for the logo on the front or back.

Cirrus ATMs accept all Mastercard products and Visa products, as well as local cards.

Learn about the brands of MasterCard here.

Why does Mastercard offer both Cirrus and Mastercard?

Cirrus is not a payment card, but an ATM network. In addition to MasterCard, it supports all other payment cards bearing the Cirrus logos.
On the other hand, MasterCard operates as a global credit network for processing credit, debit, and prepaid cards.
These two types of products offered by MasterCard are geared toward different types of users.

Where can a Cirrus card be used?

Cirrus allows people to access their bank deposit accounts at any time and place as it has an established network of ATMs around the world.

Cirrus cards are accepted at merchants and ATMs that accept Maestro and Cirrus cards. If you want to make a purchase or withdraw cash, you will need a PIN.

There is no PIN required with MasterCard’s Cirrus and Maestro networks unless you have a Chip & PIN card.

Changes in the logo

is cirrus mastercard?

The logo for Cirrus has undergone many changes and modifications since its inception. Most changes, however, have taken place since it was acquired. MasterCard and Maestro are both parts of Cirrus, and Cirrus itself is a part of MasterCard, but their logos can usually be seen as different.

Cirrus had its own logo before the acquisition. After the acquisition, Cirrus altered its logo to match MasterCard’s. Thus, today’s Cirrus logo blends in with MasterCard very nicely. While the logo was modified, only the pattern was altered, the color remained the same, i.e. Blue.


The acquisition of Cirrus by MasterCard has allowed people to have easy financial services all across the world. The fact that MasterCard acquired one of the world’s largest networks of ATMs has allowed financial integration across a range of countries. More importantly, it took a step towards limiting the number of ATMs and networks available, to save the common man from unnecessary confusion about finance-related affairs.

Learn more about the need of understanding Financial markets here.

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