More than 20,000 subway rides in the Ukraine capital of Kiev (also known as Kyiv) have been paid for this summer with MasterCard contactless cards, the card brand said Friday (Sept. 4), adding that about 1,500 contactless purchases are made daily under the ground of Europe's eighth largest city.

Access to contactless subway payments for the 2.8 millions residents of Kiev started on June 19.

Given the crowds of commuters and the need for payment speed in urban public transit, these systems around the world have shown to be excellent proving grounds for mobile payments, with Gemalto pushing wristband payments in China, Masabi using contactless cards in Athens and NFC Oyster cards paying for access to London's Tube. That said, transit mobile payments have not been without their challenges as the global standards-work alone is quite daunting.

MasterCard, which is also running contactless payment transit systems in London, St. Petersburg, Chicago and Bucharest, said that contactless payments are not universally-supported within Kiev's subways. Even after almost three months of operations, contactless payments are only supported in 17 of the 52 Kiev subway stations. MasterCard said its goal is to equip all Kiev Subway stations with contactless terminals by December.

"MasterCard contactless payment technology is ideal for those places where service speed is especially important. Millions of people in Kyiv take the subway each day, and the possibility of using their MasterCard contactless cards for subway rides will make their trips faster and more comfortable," said Vira Platonova, Country Manager of the MasterCard Europe representative office in Ukraine and Moldova. "Implementing contactless payments will also help both the Kyiv Subway and the Kyiv Municipal State Administration to optimize operating costs and to create a fare payment system integrating different modes of transport in the future. We are happy to have partners who are willing to adopt such innovative solution."

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