London taxis to accept contactless cards – but at a price

London cabsCard and contactless payments will be accepted by London taxis, the Mayor of London and TfL have announced. All black cabs will accept cards and contactless payments from October 2016, after plans for the industry to move with the times by accepting new ways to pay gained overwhelming support from the public.

However, the minimum fare of £2.40 will rise across the board by 20p to accommodate the costs of using the new technology. The fare rise will cover the cost of the transaction so that cabbies are not left out of pocket, but customers, even if they use cash, will bear the burden of costs. The fare rise will come into force as early as April next year if approved by the Transport for London board.

“This is great news for the millions of people who use London’s world famous black cabs. 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 Mayor of London Boris Johnson.

Credit card companies have agreed to reduce the costs of accepting cards and other contactless methods, such as Apple Watch or smartphone, incurred by cabbies, with fees falling below three per cent of the transaction compared to a current rate as high as 10 per cent.

The plans have been drawn up after a consultation earlier this year found that 86% of respondents backed proposals for card acceptance, with 68% agreeing that passengers should also be able to pay using contactless payments.

“London is increasingly a cashless city, with people using cards to pay for all aspects of their daily life – including transport. We are seeing more and more people use contactless payments on our network, and 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,” commented Garrett Emmerson, Transport for London.

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Categories: Contactless Payments

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3 Comments on “London taxis to accept contactless cards – but at a price”

  1. marcus ardeman
    November 26, 2015 at 5:25 pm #

    Your article is slightly unfair. The initial amount on a taxi meter is reviewed every year, but is not always increased. Although this is being reported to be taking into account the cost of the credit card machines, it will also include any annual increase that they might receive. 20p per journey is not going to allow a driver to retire!!

    • November 27, 2015 at 4:13 pm #

      Fair enough Marcus. This is a topic that we are going to cover over the next few months and we really do want to hear from black cab drivers about their thoughts on the matter. Thanks for putting this point of view forward.

  2. June 2, 2016 at 6:33 pm #

    I think Marcus is right.20p per journey is not going to allow a driver to retire

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