Black cab drivers in London can now accept mobile payments from customers, following the launch of a new payment solution called HailoPay.
The app is said to put black cabs on a par with Uber as it removes the need for customers to hand over credit or debit cards to taxi drivers to pay for their journey.
In fact, HailoPay, a completely free service for both passengers and drivers, will mean black cab drivers will no longer have to install “bulky or expensive” card reading machines, according to its developer, Hailo.
Andrew Pinnington, CEO of Hailo, said the taxi industry was “far from a cash-only, technophobic trade”, with Hailo already having facilitated mobile and card payments for almost nine million journeys in London.
Pinnington says that HailoPay now gives all of London’s 22,500 black cab drivers the ability to accept mobile payments for passengers hailing off the street.
To use the service, drivers are given a unique badge number that users enter into hailopay.com. Drivers and users then confirm on the payment amount, and receipts are sent to both parties. It also gives customers the ability to split fares, as well as pay partly with cash and partly with mobile.
However, in order for passengers to be able to pay via their smartphones, taxi drivers will need to sign up to use the service. So far around 15,000 London black cabbies have signed up to HailoPay.
Hailo says it wants to work with black cab drivers, rather than force changes upon them, to “innovate and deliver a world class taxi service for London.”