Word on the EFTPOS streets is that the UK banks and financial institutions are about turn their backs on the MasterCard Maestro debit card brand.
HBOS and HSBC are said to have cut deals with Visa to issue debit cards to replace Maestro cards for their zillions of customers, and the other Maestro-using banks are weighing up their options. Allegedly.
The reason - ostensibly - is that Maestro isn't as widely accepted international as Visa. Hah! The real reason (allegedly) is that the banks make more money from merchants and punters when they use a Visa debit card instead of Maestro.
There are also a number of purchase security safeguards that are removed from punters using their debit cards internationally, although there is the Visa transaction repudiation procedure, although not all Visa debit card issuers admit there is such a service.
I expect lawsuits to fly between MasterCard and some UK banks. And if you're a retailer, you're likely to pay more. And guess who pays the retailer in the end? Yup - you and me. The customer...