T-Mobile to offer prepaid MasterCard with new smartphone purchases beginning February 1

Beginning Wednesday, February 1, T-Mobile will offer existing and new U.S. customers a prepaid MasterCard with a new smartphone purchase, the carrier announced this morning. The promotion includes every new smartphone that T-Mobile sells, including various iPhone models. In oder to qualify for the deal, you must activate your new smartphone on T-Mobile’s ONE or Simple Choice Unlimited 4G LTE plan.

Apple Pay expands in Hong Kong with support from Amex, Visa and MasterCard

Apple Pay expansion in international markets has accelerated lately, with the mobile payment system launching in France yesterday and now, just 24 hours later, in Hong Kong. According to Apple Pay’s Hong Kong website, the service is supported at launch by all three major credit card companies: Visa, American Express and MasterCard, with cards issued by Hang Seng Bank, Bank of China (Hong Kong), DBS Bank (Hong Kong), HSBC, Standard Chartered and AmEx.

Apple Pay launches in France with Visa and MasterCard support

Apple today announced that its mobile payments service, called Apple Pay, is now accepted in France through launch partnerships established with card issuers Visa and MasterCard. Customers in France can now add their MasterCard and Visa cards to the Wallet app on their iPhone and start paying for goods and service in stores and apps with Apple Pay.

Apple Pay goes live in Switzerland with Visa and MasterCard support

As rumored, Apple’s mobile payment system on Thursday went live in Switzerland, its seventh country, expanding the European footprint for Apple Pay beyond the United Kingdom. The firm announced the service is available with initial support for MasterCard and Visa credit and debit cards issued by Bonus Card, Corner Bank and Swiss Bankers, with additional banks and credit card issuers to be added at a later stage. Apple Pay boss, Jennifer Bailey, said the company plans to bring Apple Pay to every major market in which its products are sold.

MasterCard now offering free public transit to Apple Pay users in London

As part of its Fare Free Mondays promotion, global financial services corporation MasterCard is now offering Apple Pay users free public transit in London for a limited time. The promo starts today, November 23, and is valid over the next four consecutive Mondays ending December 14, 2015.

During those Mondays, customers in London can take advantage of Apple Pay on their iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and Apple Watch to use London’s public transit network at no charge. That is, up to £27.90 in daily fares per customer is included in the form of refundable funds.

MasterCard accepting Apple Pay for 2015 MLB All-Star Game at Great American Ball Park

MasterCard on Friday announced it’ll enable Apple Pay at Great American Ball Park in time for the 2015 MLB All-Star game. Fans attending the game in Cincinnati will be permitted to pay for on-site food and merchandise with their iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus or Apple Watch during the week-long festivities, the card issuer has said.

Realized through partnership with Major League Baseball Advanced Media, the initiative will bring NFC contactless payment acceptance to the 2015 MLB All-Star Week festivities so owners of NFC-enabled Android handsets may be able to make on-site purchases with their phones.

MasterCard promotes Apple Pay in TV commercials

MasterCard, one of Apple’s launch partners for Apple Pay, has begun airing new television commercials during last night’s Game 1 highlighting Apple’s mobile payments service, which became available at more than 220,000 locations in the United States with the release of iOS 8.1 this Monday.

“Fans who use their MasterCard with Apple Pay are enjoying priceless surprises, even at the World Series,” the voiceover can be heard saying. And what exactly might those “priceless surprises” be?

How about tickets to the games and even “meeting a baseball legend” such as George Brett and other “once in a lifetime experiences”?

Jump past the fold to watch the ads now.

Major US carriers, Google form mobile payments alliance, Apple not on board

In another sign that the industry has high expectations for mobile payments, four major carriers in the United States along with Google and a bunch of other players have struck a mobile payments alliance called Mobile Payments Committee.

The initial members include carriers AT&T, Verizon Wireless, Sprint and T-Mobile USA, but also Google, Isis, VeriFone and PayPal, in addition to financial institutions Wells Fargo and Capital One plus credit card giants American Express, Discover, MasterCard and Visa.

Apple is conspicuously absent from the list, as is mobile payment startup Square, which last week announced an interesting partnership with Starbucks. The iPhone maker, of course, is believed to be putting NFC circuitry inside the next iPhone and just recently acquired NFC and smart sensors maker AuthenTec for $356 million…