There is some fierce competition going on in the transportation sector, as cab drivers face stiff competition from sharing economy alternatives like Uber and Lyft. Staying competitive can be achieved in multiple ways, including accepting new forms of payments. London black cab drivers may soon start to accept plastic cards and contactless payments to make the user experience more convenient.
Card And Contactless Payments For Black Cab Rides
Up until this point, paying the black cab driver in London had to be done in cash. It goes without saying that cash payments are not only quite annoying when people are in a hurry, but it also creates a security risk for both the customer and driver. Also, in this day and age, less and less people are using cash to begin with, and it was only a matter of time until alternative payment options were supported.
Thanks to a deal between credit card companies and Transport for London, customers can now pay for a black cab ride with plastic cards and contactless payments. In fact, this decision follows on the heels of a public consultation regarding these payment methods, which saw an overwhelmingly positive response from consumers looking to ditch the cash payment method.
As a result of this new deal, the payment processing fees for card payments made to cab drivers have been lowered. In the past, a card transaction would be subject to a fee equal to as much as 10% of the amount paid to the driver. That fee could be reduced drastically, although the price per black cab ride will increase by 20 pence, regardless of how they decide to pay.
It will take some time until the new fares will go into effect, however, as the proposal has to be approved by the Transport for London Board in February of 2016. Assuming this motion will be approved, the fare change will take place as of April 2016. Paying with plastic cards and contactless payment options will be possible from October 2016.
Paying With Bitcoin Debit Cards
Another interesting result of this decision – assuming it gets approved next year – is how Bitcoin users will be able to pay for black cab rides in London. As the cabbies will be able to accept card payments, Bitcoin debit cards will be accepted as well, creating a very valuable use case scenario for the popular digital currency.
One of the most often heard complaints is how Bitcoin can’t be used for everyday purposes. Having the option to pay black cab rides in Bitcoin – albeit indirectly – would be a major feather in the cap for digital currency as a whole. That being said, additional use cases for Bitcoin in its pure form need to be created sooner or later.
What are your thoughts on paying a black cab driver with plastic cards or contactless payment options? Let us know in the comments below!