MasterCard International's global transaction volume on credit and debit cards was $727 billion in 1999, up 12.7% from the year before, the association said last week.

Though MasterCard said it was pleased with the results, the association still has a long way to go to catch up to Visa, the dominant bank card brand. MasterCard's worldwide volume was roughly equal to its rival's volume just in the United States, where spending on Visa cards rose 18%, to $721.1 billion.

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