Merchant Innovation

MasterCard’s Apple Pay Boost


Uber and Lyft have proven that something as simple as a car in motion can be a powerful vehicle for commerce on the go. It’s become so powerful that some companies have taken to using the platform to toot their own horns when they know they have captive audiences.

MasterCard said it would launch a special outreach program for London commuters where their rides on public transit would be paid. There’s a catch, though: All qualifying commuters need to use their Apple Pay-enabled devices and only those devices to be eligible for reimbursements up to £27.90. Mark Barnett, president of MasterCard UK&I, said that the temporary program should get Apple Pay into the hearts and minds of Londoners.

“The move by [Transport for London] last year to accept contactless cards and devices on London Underground has been a phenomenal catalyst to the growth in contactless payments across the U.K.,” Barnett said in a statement. “Now that Apple Pay has arrived, we want to encourage travelers on London’s transport network to try it out and give them another convenient option to pay for their travel. What better way to do this than to offer MasterCard customers using Apple Pay the chance to travel for free over the next four consecutive Mondays.”

Barnett went on to explain that partnering with London’s mass transit authority makes sense, primarily due to the incredible traffic the organization has managed to drive toward contactless payments for public transit. According to Barnett, more than 220 million trips are made daily, which gives MasterCard prime real estate on the one day where people might be looking for a pick-me-up to start their work weeks.

MasterCard’s beneficent transit payback program will officially begin Monday (Nov. 23) and rap up on Dec. 14, which allows for plenty of time for Londoners to get to and from work a few times on MasterCard’s contactless dime.



The PYMNTS Cross-Border Merchant Friction Index analyzes the key friction points experienced by consumers browsing, shopping and paying for purchases on international eCommerce sites. PYMNTS examined the checkout processes of 266 B2B and B2C eCommerce sites across 12 industries and operating from locations across Europe and the United States to provide a comprehensive overview of their checkout offerings.