The optional new card, which the banks may issue in lieu of the current basic MasterCard, also incorporates a new, larger hologram emblazoned with the company's interlocking circles logo.
MasterCard's current design allows a card-issuing bank to use 60 percent of the card face, while the new card gives the bank about 80 percent of the card face.
The new hologram, the three-dimensional, silvery image on the lower right corner of the card, will be two-and-a-half times larger than on the present MasterCard in order to attract consumer attention and make counterfeiting the cards tougher.
Visa U.S.A. Inc., the other major U.S. bank card company, already allows issuers to use up to 90 percent of the card face, said spokesman Dan Brigham at the company's San Francisco headquarters. Brigham said Visa had no plans to change the design of its basic card.
Russell Hogg, MasterCard's president and chief executive, said the average consumer carries about eight credit and charge cards, and the company intended the new design to be an eye-catcher.
``It will create something different in the wallet,'' Hogg said in an interview. ``...It will just cause an enormous amount of consumer interest. …