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MasterCard & Apple Pay Providing Free Travel In London

December 22, 2015


The number of contactless payments being made has greatly increased this year, especially with the introduction of services such as Apple Pay, which was introduced in the UK in July 2015. The payment method is now accepted at over 250,000 locations across the UK and recently gained support from Tesco Bank and TSB, after accumulating a wealth of support from over 90 US-based card issuers too. 

Despite this increase MasterCard decided to launch an initiative to try to inspire even more people to take up the new payment method.

Fare Free Mondays was a promotion from the credit card issuer, providing MasterCard and Apple Pay users with free public transit in London. The promotion took place between 23 November and 14 December 2015.

Throughout this period, MasterCard users were able to use their Apple Pay on London’s transport network, whether using the tube, bus, tram, the overground, DLR and even a number of national rail services, and then have up to £27.90 (per day) refunded by the credit card company.

President of MasterCard UK&I, Mark Barnett explains how the growth in contactless payments has been greatly boosted by the “move by TfL last year to accept contactless cards and devices on London Underground”. He stated how MasterCard wanted to encourage people to use contactless because it was more convenient and how better to do this than giving customers “the chance to travel for free” over the three week period.

MasterCard is not the only credit card issuer to launch an Apple Pay campaign. Indeed, Visa recently launched a European Apple Pay “Ready” campaign, which includes a couple of TV advertisements (by marketing agency Saatchi & Saatchi). The Visa campaign reinforces the message of how easy and quick it is to pay using a Visa card in Apple Pay, whether you’re in a shop, a café or on the tube.

These most recent drives by the credit card giants, to increase the number of people using contactless, will no doubt not be the last. It will therefore be very interesting to see what the all the card issuers have in store for the year 2016.

“I like the reliability of knowing we’ve got a decent card machine and our customers aren’t going to have any problems with the payment going through” (November 2015)

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