British success embodied by use in forthcoming Rugby World Cup and London Transport

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LONDON – 20 February 2015 MasterCard has reported that in the last quarter of 2014, the amount of contactless card transactions in Europe grew by 174 % year-on-year. Existing users of contactless also increased their transactions by more than 20%.

In the UK, more than 90% of consumers said that they were completely satisfied when using contactless to make a payment/, whether that’s in stores or on transport networks such as the London Underground. They will also benefit from the convenience of faster, secure payments at stadiums for the forthcoming Rugby World Cup 2015.

A decade ago, British consumers would have typically paid for their morning coffee with coins and banknotes. Now, in 2015 there are over 3 million contactless-enabled retailer locations globally, representing a 56% year-on-year increase, which has had a real impact on the way British consumers are spending.

According to data published by The UK Cards Association, spending on contactless cards in the UK has more than trebled over the last year to reach a record £2.32 billion in 2014. MasterCard or Maestro contactless is now available in 38 countries in Europe, and 68 countries globally.

The Rugby World Cup 2015 exemplifies this growth for MasterCard in the UK, bringing contactless acceptance to all bars and concession stands at several stadia ahead of the tournament. Through a partnership with Worldpay and the Rugby Football Union, Twickenham is now accepting contactless through 450 payment terminals at the RBS Six-Nations tournament that started this month, ahead of the Rugby World Cup in September and October.

Mark Barnett, President of MasterCard UK & Ireland said: “We’re particularly proud that the UK is leading the way in contactless payment acceptance. London is a shining light for faster payments, particularly in retail, mass transit and big sporting events. Whether you’re a shopper, a commuter, or a sports fan, we want to ensure that wherever you are, your MasterCard contactless payment is a fast, easy and safe way to pay.”

As the Rugby World Cup 2015 approaches, MasterCard will be bringing contactless payment technology to several other participating stadiums.

Sophie Goldschmidt, Chief Commercial and Marketing Officer at the RFU said: “We want to offer fans the most enjoyable experience at Twickenham Stadium and are committed to enhancing services on match day and incorporating new technologies. Enabling supporters to pay with contactless is a simple and effective way for us to reduce queuing at peak moments.”

Even getting to the games at Twickenham will be made easier since Transport for London (TfL) introduced contactless payments in September 2014. To date, there have been over 40 million journeys using a contactless card or device and contactless payments, making up nearly 12% of Pay as You Go journeys.

The growth is set to continue, as MasterCard is also working on more than 70 live mobile NFC projects in 22 European countries. While contactless technology is commonly placed on the SIM card of a mobile device or the device itself, it can also reside in software on the web – or Host Card Emulation (HCE).

Commenting on this innovation, Javier Perez, President MasterCard Europe said, “Our vision for digital payments is to create great payment experiences for everyone across all channels and all devices. In 2014 MasterCard published its specifications that leverage Host Card Emulation for secure NFC contactless payment transactions. HCE provides another deployment option for issuers to launch NFC wallets”.

/RTi Market Research & Brand Strategy – December 2014

You will find a complete list of MasterCard’s news announcements from Mobile World Congress in our Digital Press Kit. Follow us @MasterCardEU #MWCashless to join the conversation.


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About MasterCard

MasterCard is the Preferred Card and Official Payment System of Rugby World Cup 2015.

MasterCard (NYSE: MA),,is a technology company in the global payments industry. We operate the world’s fastest payments processing network, connecting consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. MasterCard’s products and solutions make everyday commerce activities – such as shopping, traveling, running a business and managing finances – easier, more secure and more efficient for everyone. Follow us on Twitter @MasterCardNews, join the discussion on the Cashless Pioneers Blog and subscribe for the latest news on the Engagement Bureau.


About Rugby World Cup

Rugby World Cup is the financial engine behind unprecedented investment and growth in Rugby worldwide. The net Rugby World Cup surplus from the commercial success of France 2007 and New Zealand 2011 has enabled World Rugby to invest more than £150 million in the Game between 2009 and 2012 and commit an anticipated injection of more than £180 million between 2013 and 2016 to underwrite a large range of major funding initiatives including annual national Union grants and strategic investments focusing on growing participation and increasing competition across all 121 national Member Unions affiliated to World Rugby.


About the RFU

The Rugby Football Union is the National Governing Body for rugby union in England and supports participants and fans from the grassroots to the national team. For more information visit

You can keep up to date with all RFU news on @EnglandRugby