Why mPOS holds the key to payment in the taxi market
Regulations from Transport for London (TfL), require all London taxis and private hire vehicles (PHVs) to be fitted with an approved card payment device in the passenger compartment, and be able to produce a printed receipt on request. While this law is currently contained to London, regulations are anticipate to swiftly roll out to other cities with a high level of taxi traffic, including Liverpool, Wolverhampton, Manchester and Birmingham, and that means operators throughout the UK should be looking at payment and receipt systems now to stay ahead of the game.
When it comes to payment solutions, taxis have a number of options including a hard wired in-vehicle printer linked to the meter and also complete epos systems. A typical EPOS application may be an all-in-one solution for the taxi industry by offering a combined card reader and printer, but it does come at a substantially higher price. We have helped thousands of taxi cabs with a receipt printer solution by hard-wiring a printer into the front of the cab but are we witnessing a shift in attitude from Local Authorities in where they want the payment systems positioned in taxi cabs?
There is no doubt the recent and forthcoming legislation incorporates a mission to guarantee the customer the ability to receive a printed receipt for the cost of their journey. The rationale for this is multi-layered but no doubt includes a desire to reduce instances of ‘blank’ paper receipts being handed out and also to reduce the propensity for fraudulent ‘cash-in-hand’ transitions.
Certainly moving the payment solution to the rear of the cab, negating any interaction from the Driver, is fast becoming a high priority for taxi regulators.
For this reason, mPOS could revolutionise the payment process in taxis and PHVs.
Small, handheld mPOS systems such as iZettle and SumUp and card payments apps from the likes of The Payment House easily connect to a smartphone. They offer great value for money and as they are portable, require little installation (apart from a mounting solution) so minimising expense and off-road time. Many mPOS solutions also allow a number of payment options, including contactless, phone payments and QR codes if the taxi service has an app. Importantly, they can also be connected to a portable printer via Bluetooth for receipt printing, especially important for those on business travel.
Ultimately, legislation is looking to improve the passenger experience as well as reducing the time taken to process payments. With immediate payments, drivers can spend more time picking up extra customers and making their journey quick and easy. Both EPOS and mPOS systems support this improved service, but mPOS appears to be the smarter, more cost-effective choice for the industry. In addition, these systems are both cashless to reduce the risk of theft and provide encrypted transaction for the passenger’s peace of mind.
Click here or more information on Able Systems and its portable printing solutions for taxis and private hire vehicles.