MasterCard Inc.'s profit leapt 23.6% to $562 million in the first quarter from a year earlier, driven in part by a rise in payments.

The Purchase, N.Y., card brand's revenue rose 14.8% to $1.5 billion from a year earlier. MasterCard said transaction volume grew even against negative factors such as fluctuations in foreign currency and natural disasters overseas.

The number of MasterCard transactions rose 11.1% to 6.0 billion. There were 1.7 billion MasterCard and Maestro-branded cards issued by the end of the first quarter.

"We had a strong start to 2011 despite the hardships experienced by many consumers and businesses due to natural disasters and political turmoil in several markets," said Ajay Banga, MasterCard's president and chief executive, in a press release. "This growth is reflective of the strong fundamentals and globality of our business."

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.