London’s iconic licensed taxis take 73 million fares each year. Up until now most of the 300,000 passengers travelling each day inLondon’s 22,000 taxis have had to pay by cash. This is not convenient or practical for many commuters, shoppers or tourists who would rather pay by card.
While London has some of the best drivers in the world, the lack of card facilities were putting many travellers off. Without reliable, secure, card acceptance, licensed taxi drivers were forced to regularly turn down fares, facing a future of missed opportunity and shrinking revenues.
Recognising this, Transport forLondon(TfL) and Verifone, who had the scale and commitment to roll out contactless payments, worked together, to bringLondon’s black cabs into the 21st century.
Verifone created a contactless/NFC enabled card payment solution for London cab drivers. Approved by Transport for London(TfL), it is available free (kit and installation) to all ofLondon's licensed taxis.
The taxi payment solution comprises of a passenger-facing Vx 810 or VX 820 PIN pad for PIN entry, combined with a driver-facing Vx 510 for driver login and receipt printing integrated to the taxi meter. Installation can be done easily in 2-3 hours, so taxis are back out on the street in no time. There is also an online reporting portal for drivers to monitor transactions and can receive updates directly to their mobile phone.
All transactions from the payment solution are authorised and settled by Verifone’s PAYware Merchant managed service solution. Integrated management tools are used to transfer appropriate fare earnings to the taxi drivers 3 times per week. In addition, a Verifone Media in-cab multimedia entertainment system – featuring a full colour passenger screen, sound system and streamed content – is also offered to drivers.
Thanks to VTS, London taxis can now take credit, debit and contactless/NFC payments with ease. For drivers, VTS means they never have to turn down a fare and can boost revenue and tips. Drivers can also reduce the risk associated with cash transactions and from parking fines incurred while waiting for customers at cash points.
Within 18 months Verifone has completely changed the landscape of the London taxi market. There are currently over 4,500 taxis installed, with the number growing to 6,000 by the London Olympics in July 2012. In May 2012 Verifone signed Sky as a broadcast partner, scheduling breaking news directly onto screens in all installed taxis up to 8 times a day.