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London Black Cabs Finally Accepting Card Payments By October 2016

March 23, 2016

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In a move that will no doubt please people all over London, Transport for London (TfL) has recently announced that black cabs in the capital will soon be required to accept card, in addition to cash, payments.

Recent public consultation by TfL showed that 86% of respondents backed the move to allow cab customers to pay for their journeys by card, so TfL has acted on this and will enforce, by October, that black cabs must offer the additional payment method.

The move has been described as “great news” by The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson MP, who commented that card payments are now “an essential part of modern life” so it’s “great news that with a quick swipe of a card, millions of passengers will be able to pay for their journeys in London’s iconic black cabs.”

With approximately 22,500 licensed taxis in London already accepting debit and credit cards, and with the black cab’s main competitor Uber making it so simple for customers to pay, the move will no doubt benefit London’s black cabs enormously, even if they’re reluctant to start off with.

At the end of the day customers are after simplicity and speed and unfortunately for London’s cabbies, customers seem to feel that Uber offers these things over and above black cabs. At a time when they are increasingly battling for fares, you would think that London’s cabbies would welcome any move that means they can compete with the US’ cashless taxi company.

Customers are already so used to paying by card for their journeys across London, whether travelling by tram, train or tube, that the expectation to pay for their taxi fare by card is most certainly already there. TfL’s Chief Operating Officer for Surface Transport, Garrett Emmerson emphasises this customer attitude, stating that: “Card payments are part of everyday life in London, and people use them in every aspect of their lives.” This move, therefore, will be giving customers not only what they want, but what they expect.

With the majority of TfL’s transport network already accepting card, it was only a matter of time before black cabs were brought into line. There have been a few concerns expressed that customers will be asked by the cabs to pay a surcharge is paying by card, but TfL has been quick to assure taxi customers that they will not have to once the rule has been enforced in October 2015.

“Couldn’t believe how easy it was to switch. We didn’t have to do anything as the rep took care of the paperwork and installed the machine. Have to say it’s the best business decision I’ve made in years” (November 2015)

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