Verifone Enables Card Payments in Cabs
Award-winning Verifone Taxi Solutions enables card payments in London’s licensed taxis, giving Verifone one of the largest installed contactless-enabled POS estates in the UK.
London’s iconic licensed taxis take 73 million fares each year. Up until now most of the 300,000 passengers travelling each day in London’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.
With London 2012 positioned as the ‘cashless’ Olympics, demand for card payments was on the increase. At the same time, card issuers investing heavily in migrating consumers to contactless cards, are also actively reducing the number of cash-carrying consumers in the capital.
While London has some of the best drivers in the world, the lack of card facilities were putting many travelers 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 for London(TfL) and Verifone, who had the scale and commitment to roll out contactless payments, worked together, to bring London’s black cabs into the 21st century. To do this Verifone had to design a system that would meet both TfL’s rigorous approvals and be widely accepted by drivers, including those who were reluctant to move away from cash.
Verifone created a contactless/NFCenabled card payment solution for London cab drivers. Approved by Transport for London (TfL), it is available free (kit and installation) to all of London's licensed taxis. It also resulted in Verifone becoming a ‘retailer’ of taxi services, as Verifone is the merchant of record on behalf of drivers.
The taxi payment solution comprises 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 authorized 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. Verifone also regularly performs driver surveys to enhance the system and service.
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.
With VTS, commuters, shoppers and visitors to London will no longer have to pay for taxis with cash. For drivers, VTS means they never have to turn down a fare. They 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.
Benefits of Verifone’s taxi solution for drivers
- Never miss a fare again
- Zero cost of ownership: Kit and installation are free
- Differentiates London’s licensed taxis from mini cabs
Benefits of Verifone’s taxi solution for passengers
- Payment flexibility – passengers can choose how they want to pay
- No need to stop at cash points
- Can use contactless technology
- News and content provided on 15” colour screens to enhance the customer journey
London taxis take 200,000 fares per day and the average fare is between £15 - £20 making it ideal for current contactless value limits, which were increased to £20 on 1 June 2012.
Over 60 per cent of taxi passengers are ABC 1, aged 25-44, making them most likely to be issued with contactless bank cards as they roll out. In addition, almost 100 per cent of passengers carry and use a mobile phone when on their journey so NFC transactions are anticipated to be high.
VTS doesn’t stop at card payments; the system also includes a full colour multimedia screen that will stream safety information, news and advertising to enhance the passenger experience.