Although it is trailing far behind rival Visa in terms of numbers of contactless cards carrying its brand in the United Kingdom, MasterCard Worldwide has calculated that the contactless game is just beginning in Britain and is willing to spend millions to boost its brand.
One way to do that, believes MasterCard, is to connect it’s brand to the popular contactless card that is used many more times a day in the United Kingdom than either Visa- or MasterCard-branded contactless payment–the Oyster transit card.
MasterCard yesterday announced a “multimillion-pound” deal with Oyster’s owner, Transport for London, to exclusively put its logo on plastic card covers the transit authority will give away this year with every new Oyster card it issues. MasterCard is counting on riders to keep the Oyster cards in the holders when they tap to pay fares on London buses, trams and underground trains. When they do, they will see the MasterCard, and later, PayPass logos while actually paying the fares with the popular closed-loop Oyster electronic purse.