While the success of Uber and other ride sharing mobile applications has stung the traditional taxi business, part of the success was due to the fact that many taxis did not accept card payments, making the Uber experience far more seamless and convenient. Well more than 50,000 European taxis are set to level the playing field due to an agreement between taximeter provider Digitax and mPOS gateway provider Payworks.
According to the agreement, more than 50,000 taxis across Europe will be upgraded to accept payments for journeys via different NFC (near field communication) form factors including mobile devices and contactless cards. In a statement, Payworks wrote,
“The fully integrated taxi solution for the Nordic taxi market — booking, dispatch, fleet management, payments and invoicing — will be rolled out later this year. By relying on the Payworks Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) infrastructure, The Payment House is able to process transactions with local acquirers, making it possible to rollout to different countries without the need to change the integration.”
With Uber recently announcing an expended cash payment trial in India it would appear the taxi business is tackling evolving consumer payment preferences from all angles. However the move to upgrade European taxi’s to accept mobile and contactless card based NFC payments is long overdue as European consumers increasingly prefer to make electronic payments and will at least help taxi’s compete against Uber and others on a level playing field when it comes to payment acceptance.
Overview by Tristan Hugo-Webb, Associate director, Global Payments Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Group
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