Bank of Valletta (BOV) will no longer offer Mastercard products as part of a “strategic move” that will take effect on 1st December 2021, with holders of the BOV Mastercard issued a Visa Classic instead.
The BOV Mastercard Credit Card Programme is the only Mastercard product currently offered by the bank.
Holders of the credit card received a letter from BOV last week announcing the discontinuation of the programme.
The bank’s customer care stated that the change arises from “updates to Visa rules”, but this was denied by a BOV communications manager, who said the “decision to stop issuing Mastercard cards is purely a business and strategic one”.
“Visa and Mastercard have almost identical global acceptance, meaning that wherever Visa is accepted Mastercard likely is too,” he said.
He also pointed out that customers who only hold a Mastercard card with Bank of Valletta are being offered a Visa card as an alternative “so that they can continue availing themselves of the benefits of these credit cards”.
Pressed to confirm that decision was not affected by either Visa or Mastercard rules on the one hand or greylisting on the other, the spokesperson confirmed that the decision “was purely a strategic move”.
The BOV Mastercard will remain active and usable until 30th November, after which customers will face one of several scenarios, as detailed in the letter sent to Mastercard holders by BOV.
Some holders will have their balance transferred to an alternative credit card or BOV account, with the bank offering to issue a new Visa Classic Card to those without.
For holders of a BOV Mastercard who have an outstanding balance and who have not effected any repayments for the three months prior, the outstanding balance will be transferred to a credit card loan. Such holders will be contacted by the bank to schedule a monthly repayment programme.
Mastercard remains available through HSBC and Lombard Bank.
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