MasterCard-branded plastic getting more use

Profits for the world's second-largest processor of debit and credit card payments surged in the fourth quarter of last year as consumers spent more on those accounts.

MasterCard recently reported that it saw its fourth-quarter profit climb 24 percent as the number of credit and debit card purchases it processed worldwide leapt to 7.7 billion in the three-month period, according to a report from Bloomberg News. In the U.S. alone, spending on debit cards rose 18 percent on a year-over-year basis to $139 billion.

Meanwhile, spending on the company's branded credit cards climbed 6.6 percent to a total of $143 billion, the report said. The company said it expects this type of growth for both credit and debit transactions to continue in the future as consumers move away from using cash to complete purchases.

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