The audacity of Citigroup Inc.'s shift of credit card allegiance to MasterCard from Visa is matched only by the riskiness of the strategy, card industry observers said Wednesday.

Taking stock of the latest surprising turn in the maneuvering for brand supremacy, the experts see Citigroup betting everything on its ability to create a global identity at least on a par with Visa's.

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.