MasterCard to Offer Free Wi-Fi to Cardholders

As part of its Priceless Cities initiative, MasterCard will offer its customers free Wi-Fi when travelling abroad.

Customers will be able to download the app before travelling, which was developed by BskyB-owned company The Cloud, allowing them to use more than 22,000 available Wi-Fi hotspots in the UK.

Commercial director of The Cloud, Roger Matthews, said connectivity is core to an increasing number of mobile users for both data and voice.

He said: "The inclusion of Wi-Fi in MasterCard's Priceless Cities programme in the UK not only keeps cardholders connected, but also provides valuable location-based offers in key cities."

The app is said to help users locate the nearest Wi-Fi spot to them and aims to allow these users to avoid high roaming costs.

As new caps came into force in Europe this year, the data roaming charges dropped by 50%.

The capping rules were set by the European Parliament, which voted to end roaming tariff fees across the EU, as part of its goal of creating a single telecoms market.

There are some mobile operators that have started early, with Vodafone allowing pay-monthly bills and business travellers to use their existing UK minutes, texts and data allowances abroad. Three has also expanded its number of countries included in its Feel At Home service.

MasterCard's Priceless Cities scheme offers promotions to customers travelling abroad, to make sure they are making the most out of their holiday. By the end of the year, offers will cover 36 countries.

Earlier this year MasterCard teamed up with Zwipe to develop a payment card with a built in fingerprint authentication sensor.

The company has recently been investing heavily in technology to make transactions safer and easier for consumers.

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