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Cabbie urges passengers to REMAIN IN THE TAXI whilst card payments are processed… or pay in cash

Updated: Oct 12, 2022

A London taxi driver has urged passengers to remain in the cab whilst card payments are being processed… or pay in cash if in a rush.

Increasingly licensed taxis around the UK are becoming mandated to fit approved card payment devices within taxi vehicles.

In London, all taxi drivers must accept card and contactless payments via the approved TfL fixed card payment device located in the passenger compartment and provide printed receipts for those payments upon request.

However, drivers are finding more and more passengers tapping contactless payments and scarpering before the payment is approved by the device. Payments usually take about 5 seconds to approve, but in that time period passengers can be found to be long gone. If their payment is not authorised or requires chip and pin approval it leaves the taxi driver unable to take payment for their services provided.

Kingsley Russell, a London taxi driver, said: “This is for all the people who travel in black cabs, if you’re in a rush and don’t want to wait for the card machine to process your payment, use cash.

“You don’t go into any store and walk out before your payment has been authorised, so don’t do it in a black cab.”

In January, a major black cab payment provider urged drivers to check EVERY receipt to ensure payment, as a result of increasing contactless payment spot checks used by banks.

Payment provider, CMT UK, who claims to supply card payment solutions for 40% of the entire London fleet, posted the warning in a recent newsletter to cabbies after an honest passenger got in touch to query the ‘DECL-INSERT CARD’ message on their receipt.

Taxi drivers were surveyed by TaxiPoint earlier this year and asked whether cash or cards were used more by passengers paying their taxi fare. Over 91% of 283 cab drivers asked, said card payments are now higher than cash.

Drivers responding to the snap poll suggested that card payments account for roughly two thirds of their income, although this does vary dependant on how the drivers look for work.

A mixture of rising card payments using terminals located in the back of cabs and payments via app bookings, has seen the method of payment spike within the industry recently.

Contactless payment during the coronavirus pandemic was also seen as the preferred method of payment.

Cash is still important to taxi drivers for cash flow purposes to pay for daily ongoing costs. Card payments can take up to a week for the taxi driver to receive, although in most cases it's usually around 3 days.

Card payments also cost taxi drivers between around 3-4% in processing fees on each transaction.


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