UPDATED: Free travel and coffee in London all October for Android Pay/Mastercard users

Mastercard are offering free commute on the London transport network on four Mondays in October along with free coffee at Caffè Nero.

To avail the offer, you need to add Mastercard to your Android Pay app and make payments using the service at select locations.

Monday morning blues affect all of us to a greater or lesser degree, and if travelling to work after a lazy weekend seems too much of a bother, Mastercard are at least saving you from paying for it and are willing to let you enjoy a free coffee as well to prepare your nerves for a hectic day ahead.

If you use the London transport network to commute to and from work, then Mastercard's new offer will suit you just fine. On four Mondays in October, that is, the 3rd, 10th, 17th and 24th, Mastercard will refund your travelling expenses on the London transport network as long as your expenses are limited to £30.50 per day. You will only get the refund if you use Android Pay and an account linked with Mastercard to pay for your travels. Given that Mastercard has partnership with many UK banks, that shouldn't be tough.

What is Android Pay? Which devices will have it?

To avail the travel refund, do make sure to use any of bus, Tube, tram, DLR, Tfl Rail, London Overground, Emirates Air Line cable car, MBNA Thames Clippers River Bus Services and most National Rail services in London to commute to work. The sad part is that even though Mastercard has a partnership with Apple Pay, iPhone users will not be able to avail the offer.

If you have some spare time while travelling to work or prefer to pick up a cup of coffee on the way, Mastercard have ensured that you won't have to pay for those on the four Mondays. All you need to do is visit a Caffe Nero outlet, buy a coffee or a hot drink using Mastercard via Android Pay and Mastercard will refund the cost to your account. While the travel refund is only applicable in London, the free coffee offer is applicable nationwide.

“Our ‘fare free’ days across London’s transport network have been a big hit with our cardholders, but we wanted to go one step further. By also offering a free coffee at Caffè Nero, we hope that the Monday morning commute becomes a little more enjoyable in more ways than one,” said Mark Barnett, president of MasterCard UK & Ireland.

How to use Apple Pay in five easy steps!

If you don't have Android Pay but would like to avail Mastercard's offer, you will be able to download the Android Pay app if your phone runs Android 4.4 KitKat or later versions of the operating system. Do make sure that your phone also has NFC and HCE capabilities as these are critical technologies enabling contactless payments.

If you haven't used a contactless payments system before, here's a quick guide. How Android Pay works as an app is based on a very simple concept. Just like we can use debit and credit cards issued by banks to shop around, Android Pay lets you do the same but it does the same job directly through your smartphone rather than from a number of bank cards.  It works through an integration between Android Pay’s secure APIs and Google’s existing Host Card Emulation (HCE) functionality. When you set up Android Pay on your phone, Visa or MasterCard will generate a digital token which will be used to make payments in stores. Not only will the token protect your bank account or credit card details, it will also include all the benefits and guarantees of a transaction with a physical card.

Mastercard enables 'Selfie'payments!

We reported back in July of last year that Mastercard was working on a new biometric technology named ID Check which aimed at letting you make payments at stores just by clicking your selfie! The technology was expected to enable MasterCard to link an image of your face with your account so that the facial recognition software will realise it's you before clearing a payment. MasterCard claimed that the new technology is more secure than password-based authentication processes.

Earlier today, Mastercard announced the arrival of Identity Check Mobile which will let you authenticate payments whether through fingerprints or by clicking a selfie. UK is among the first countries to get the system, others being Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Hungary, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain and Sweden.

“We are relentlessly focused on making the online payment experience near frictionless, without making any compromises on safety and security. This is a significant milestone in the evolution of payments. Shopping in person has been revolutionised thanks to advances like contactless cards, mobile payments and wearables, and now we are making Identity Check Mobile a reality for online shopping in Europe, and soon, the world,” said Ajay Bhalla, president of Enterprise Risk & Security at Mastercard.

The new technology will help you authorise payments at contactless terminals even if you forget passwords or do not wish to go through the lengthy process of authentications. UK banks will start rolling out the Identity Check Mobile tech to consumers starting today and all the banks should complete the roll-out in the next few months.



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