I’m sure everyone knows about Mastercard; we all practically have one in our wallets. I mean, what choice do we have right? We’re practically stuck with the ‘holy trinity’ of credit cards — Visa, Mastercard, or American Express — for now. (Although Union Pay may threaten this in the future.)

Mastercard is a great example of a ‘toll operator’ business. The company is paid a transaction fee from the issuer (your bank) and the acquirer (your merchant’s bank) every time a sale is made. In 2018 alone, Mastercard processed over US$5.9 trillion worth of transactions worldwide. Inflation has no effect on Mastercard. An increase in global population and spending volume simply leads to more growth for this company.

Here are eight things I learned from listening in to Mastercard’s Q4 2018 earnings call:

1. Net revenue increased 20% year-on-year to US$14.95 billion in 2018. Excluding the impact from the