Maestro debit cards to disappear in Belgium

From 1 July, the 10 million Maestro bank cards in Belgium will be gradually withdrawn from circulation. They will be replaced with a Debit Mastercard, a better card for online shopping, says issuer Mastercard. The transition will take up to five years.

The Maestro brand has existed since 1991. "It was quite revolutionary at the time because the card enabled secure payments in various European countries," says Henri Dewaerheijd, director of Mastercard's Belgian-Luxembourg subsidiary.

But Maestro was developed for payments in physical shops, not for the digital age. Therefore, the system will be replaced with the Debit Mastercard. That card is similar to a credit card, with the difference being that when a payment is made, the money goes straight from the account. According to Mastercard, the card offers more options to pay online.

Anyone who currently uses a Maestro card does not have to do anything. When the card expires, the bank will automatically send a new debit card with a different, shorter card number. It will remain linked to the current account and will work in the same way.

Mastercard is a dominant player in the Belgian market with Maestro, although market leader BNP Paribas Fortis switched to competitor Visa for its debit cards two years ago.




Get updates in your mailbox

By clicking "Subscribe" I confirm I have read and agree to the Privacy Policy.


Belga News Agency delivers dependable, rapid and high-quality information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, from Belgium and abroad to all Belgian media. The information covers all sectors, from politics, economics and finance to social affairs, sports and culture, not to mention entertainment and lifestyle.

Every day, our journalists and press photographers produce hundreds of photos and news stories, dozens of online information items, plus audio and video bulletins, all in both national languages. Since the end of March 2022 English has been added as a language.

For public institutions, businesses and various organisations that need reliable information, Belga News Agency also offers a comprehensive range of corporate services to meet all their communication needs.


Arduinkaai 29 1000 Brussels