Despite warnings: Lyoness is still advertising with MasterCard

Some time ago we were notified by our customers that, surprisingly, Lyoness is still using the MasterCard name in their advertisements. To cite a concrete example, a member of Lyoness’ network marketing was offered the chance in an e-mail to buy the new “MasterCard Polo Golf Shirt”.

Our customers asked, and rightly so, why MasterCard still collaborates with Lyoness, thereby conferring upon them an aura of respectability! We have gotten to the bottom of the alleged business relationship between MasterCard and Lyoness, and we have notified the press of the results.

According to the head of MasterCard Austria, Gerald Gruber, MasterCard never had a direct business relationship with Lyoness; the whole affair took place via a card-issuing firm registered in Great Britain and other locations. This MasterCard licensee has launched numerous card programmes, including the Lyoness programme. The problem: The Lyoness programme was never approved by MasterCard, as Gerald Gruber affirms. For this reason, this same licensee of MasterCard who got mixed up with Lyoness has been given repeated warnings.

Lyoness itself claims to have received “… no knowledge of any warning – from either MasterCard or an executing partner of MasterCard.” Moreover, “… these were only operative in five countries, as a test, and were discontinued after the test phase was over, since Lyoness wanted to implement a worldwide system for their clients which was impossible with the existing programme.” Although the prepaid card programme has been shelved for a while now, images of the card still exist on the web along with related articles such as the one here!

In fact, in the Lyoness Cashback Magazine there was even a MasterCard “special”, as well as numerous events at which the collaboration with MasterCard was sold and hailed as “THE INNOVATION”. A marketing plan was also communicated at these events. Lyoness’ claim that the programme was only operated as a test is false. The truth is that the programme simply did not work, and licenses could not be furnished, so it was discontinued. But since the brand name “MasterCard” represents an effective marketing tool, it was still being used in advertisements just a short while ago. We have at our disposal written statements attesting that a customer who inquired about the “MasterCard state of affairs” was told that after only a short delay the card could be used worldwide.

After it became known that Lyoness was once more actively using the MasterCard name in their promotions, Gruber, the head of MasterCard Austria, sent out another warning. MasterCard has “not yet formally gone before a court, but they have threatened to take the appropriate legal steps.”

You can find current press releases and pertinent details here:


Tiroler Tageszeitung






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