In a push to get commuters in Athens, Greece away from paying cash for public transit tickets, the mobile ticketing provider Masabi will add MasterCard's MasterPass as a payment option.

Athens public transportation operates on a paper ticket cash-only system, and it will supplement that process when adding the JustRide mobile ticketing platform from Masabi and the MasterCard digital wallet, the companies stated in a Jan. 14 press release.

The deal marks the first global partnership between Purchase, N.Y.-based MasterCard and London-based Masabi Ltd., the companies said.

Transport for Athens plans to switch its entire urban transit network to the mobile system, enabling 1 million daily travelers to purchase tickets and display them as a bar code through their phones.

The upgrade will help Transport for Athens to reduce its cost for handling cash, enabling new investments into its infrastructure and services, Masabi said.

"By combining our expertise, MasterCard and Masabi are removing the friction that slows down how people move around," Hany Fam, president of MasterCard enterprise partnerships, stated in the release.

Masabi is also active in mobile ticketing in New York, San Diego, London and other cities.

It first deployed the JustRide app in November of 2012 on Boston's mass transit system, and has been operating mobile ticketing for the U.K. Rail since 2007.

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