MasterCard Inc. said it is exploring ways to secure more volume for its processing switch from cards carrying the network's brand, especially outside the U.S.

Chris McWilton, MasterCard's president of U.S. markets, said during a presentation at the Thomson Reuters Future Face of Finance Summit in New York on Tuesday that it is "a little-known fact" that MasterCard's transaction switch in St. Louis handles only "four out of 10 transactions that appear with cards with our brand on it."

Within the U.S., 80% of MasterCard transactions flow through the company's switch, McWilton said, but "if you go to Europe, you go to the Asia-Pacific region, and you see a MasterCard and someone uses that domestically — so they use it in-country — that transaction doesn't drop through our switch." MasterCard gets an assessment fee "for having the brand on the card," McWilton said, "but there's really bank-owned switching networks in all these countries, and we don't touch those transactions."

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