London Taxis to Accept Credit Cards and Contactless Payments Next Year
London’s iconic black cabs will be able to accept credit cards and contactless payments such as Apple Pay starting next fall.
Following a study on the matter earlier this year, Transport for London and London Mayor Boris Johnson announced plans that will require all taxi drivers to accept such payments starting in October 2016. The plan still requires approval by Transport for London’s board, which will review the matter in February.
“This move will boost business for cabbies and bring the trade into the 21st century by enabling quicker and more convenient journeys for customers,” said the mayor.
“Travelling by taxi is set to become even more convenient,” the agency said in a statement Thursday.
Transport for London said it has been negotiating fees with credit card companies to keep the transaction fees paid by drivers as low as possible and it expects them to be 3% or lower. Customers will not have to pay a surcharge for the use of a credit card or contactless payment either so all passengers – regardless of payment method – will simply pay what is on the meter.
To help drivers recoup the transaction fees, Transport for London plans to raise the minimum fare to £2.40 ($3.62), a 20 pence increase. The increase would come in April, ahead of the introduction of new payment options.
“London is increasingly a cashless city,” said Garrett Emmerson, the agency’s chief operating officer for surface transportation, in a statement. “Mandating card payments in taxis will mean customers no longer have to consider how they might pay for a journey before getting into a taxi.”
(Photo: Accura Media Group)