The payment prognosis

payment methods in taxi dispatch industry

By Torsten Brose | Business Development Director | Magenta Technology

If you live in the city and use taxis regularly, it’s pretty likely that you haven’t called a company recently to order a cab or even spoken to anyone about cabs. For myself and most people I know in London, booking a cab on the phone and paying cash are concepts that simply vanished in mid-2010.

I can’t for the life of me imagine why anyone would waste time ringing a cab company and then going to the cash point to get cash out to pay for the cab and mess about with change. There are so many good apps that are simple and easy to use, convenient and cheap, that phoning and carrying cash seems archaic in comparison.

Having spent most of my working life around cab companies, I completely accept that I’m still in the minority and, despite a huge rise in online payment for purchases becoming the norm, booking and paying for cabs is still miles behind in the payment revolution.

Other quirks that show little signs of change are people booking from home phones (who even has one of these?), groups going out for the night who save money from the evening in order to pay the cab driver in cash when they get home, and, finally, people calling the same cab company under different trading names to save 50p on their night out booking … all still pretty common.

I guess cabs are seen as a necessary evil on a night out and a service to be cut to the bone where possible. But it still surprises me that, despite offering numerous payment options to customers, including chip and pin (just like a shop), a large number of passengers still prefer to use cash.

One of the first questions we often get asked by potential customers is: What is your passenger app like? Of course it’s great; it needs to be, as it’s the shop window sales item. However, often those same companies have very low take-up rates of app bookings.

We will continue to invest heavily in our apps and payment options, but I think it will be some time yet before the general public is happy to treat our booking and payment service on a par with other industries.

More about Echo private hire system logo white

More Articles to Read

Meet the new girl Jinny

So we have new girl called Jinny, who joined us recently and helps book and manage the requests we get for taxis. She’s very efficient, never gets it wrong and is even great at chatting with people while taking the bookings.

Magenta Technology Prepares for 2017 Success

Following a successful 2016, Magenta Technology, the company behind the market’s most innovative private hire and taxi dispatch platform, is preparing for a period of substantial expansion in 2017.

Whose data is it anyway?

Ever had difficulty getting hold of your own data, building reports that you need to run your business or finding a way to test pricing models before you take the plunge? If you have, you make up the vast majority of private hire companies in the industry.