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My friend, who is willing to visit Indonesia, went to a Russian bank to get a debit card.

The manager advised him to go with MasterCard rather than Visa, because "Visa would first convert rubles to U.S. dollars then to rupiahs, and MasterCard would do a direct exchange".

This is not what I heard about how the cards work, still, that's what a bank person says.

Is there something behind this statement?

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In this case, the Visa/MC conversion process difference doesn't actually matter.

As noted by this answer, both Visa and MasterCard use exchange rates that will get you equivalent exchanges regardless of how many currencies the exchange goes through.

e.g. It doesn't matter if you go 1 x 1.4 or if you go 1 x .5 x 2.8, you're going to end up with the same thing at the end. They don't charge a markup for each leg of the conversion, in this case.

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