Mastercard's quarterly profit beat Wall Street estimates today, as lower costs helped dull the blow from fewer people using the payment processor's cards during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

The pandemic has hit large parts of the global retail industry as stores remain shut and shoppers stay at home to avoid catching the highly contagious illness. 

Travel bans around the world have taken a toll on payment processors, with Mastercard reporting a 45% drop in cross-border volume on a local currency basis in the quarter. 

Gross dollar volume - the dollar value of transactions processed - fell 10% to $1.4 trillion. 

Net income fell about 31% to $1.42 billion in the second quarter ended June 30. Excluding items, profit was $1.36 per share, beating estimates of $1.16, according to IBES data from Refinitiv. 

Mastercard said its total operating expenses fell 5% to $1.6 billion in the quarter. 

Rival Visa's results also topped analysts' estimates earlier this week as lower-than-expected expenses helped protect against lower consumer spending due to a coronavirus-driven surge in unemployment. 

The US government reported earlier this month that retail sales rebounded in May and June from a sharp drop in April, and ended down 8% for the quarter from a year earlier