The results benefited by comparison to the year-earlier quarter, which was weighed down by a massive legal charge.
Net income in the three months ended December 31 rose to USD 605 million, or USD 4.86 per share, from USD 19 million, or 15 cents per share, a year earlier.
Net revenue rose 10 per cent to USD 1.90 billion. MasterCard continued to grow by most measures: It processed 20 percent more transactions than a year ago, including 17 per cent higher cross-border volumes.
MasterCard is expanding most quickly in Latin America and the region that includes Asia, the Middle East and Africa. Outside the United States, the volume of cash moved in 2012 increased 23.5 per cent on a US dollar basis. That compares with growth of 9.7 per cent inside the US.
The Purchase, New York-based payments network took a charge of nearly USD 500 million in the year-earlier quarter. The charge covered the cost of a settlement with retailers over the fees they pay on credit card transactions.
For 2012, MasterCard earned USD 2.76 billion, or USD 21.94 per share, on revenue of USD 7.39 billion.
During the quarter, management repurchased 1.3 million shares for USD 613 million. Repurchasing shares is a way of returning profits to shareholders. It boosts the value of each share that remains in investors' hands.
The quarterly results beat analysts' estimates, sending shares up 4 per cent in pre-market trading. Shares rose USD 18.50 to USD 534.50 a half-hour before the opening bell.