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Mastercard and Android Pay offer free coffee and travel incentive

The mobile payment battle in the UK takes a new turn today with Mastercard customers who use Android Pay entitled to free travel on the Transport for London (TfL) network and a free coffee at Caffè Nero.

Consumers will be able to take advantage of these freebies every Monday in October, as Android Pay looks to raise its profile in what is shaping up to be a competitive mobile payments landscape.

Google's Android Pay was launched in May 2016 following Apple Pay's arrival in the country one year before. Both services allow consumers to pay for items or travel services with their mobil device where NFC readers are present at the point of sale.

This month's move by Google's mobile payments platform means participating customers who tap into London's transport network will then be refunded the fare – up to £30.50 per day – on 3, 10, 17 and 24 October. It covers travel on bus, London Underground, tram, DLR, TfL Rail, London Overground, Emirates Air Line cable car, MBNA Thames Clippers River Bus Services and most National Rail services in London.

The free coffee deal is available at Caffè Nero stores nationwide to anyone who uploads their Mastercard to Android Pay and uses it at the point of sale.

Mark Barnett, president of Mastercard UK & Ireland, commented: "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.”

Further competition is expected in the mobile payments space in the UK in the coming months, too, with Samsung Pay set to join the UK market early in 2017. It was first unveiled in South Korea in August 2015.

Nathalie Oestmann, head of the company's European operation, recently told an audience of retail payment delegates the service will have multiple value-added services wrapped into its offering. This will include loyalty programmes, gift cards and a platform from which to trigger cash withdrawals at ATMs.

Oestmann told those attending last week's launch of the Retail PayTech Forum, in London, that Samsung Pay recognised it was "third in the market" in the UK but promised to bring an even more developed service to "excite the customer". Samsung Pay had orginally been due to appear in the UK by the end of 2016.

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Android Pay

Apple Pay

Samsung Pay