DEFINITION of 'Bank Card Association'

An organization owned by financial institutions that licenses bank credit card programs. The Bank Card Association also performs operational functions for its members, including transaction processing and authorizations, interchange settlements and fee processing.

BREAKING DOWN 'Bank Card Association'

The two national and best-known bank card associations, VISA and MasterCard, have become publicly-traded companies. There are many regional bank card associations, however, that may be owned by a single bank or a consortium. These smaller organizations issue more retail credit cards.

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