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Mayor of London reveals decline in magnetic stripe payments in black cabs

London’s black cab taxis could soon see the requirement for magnetic stripe card payments dropped due to the popularity of contactless and Chip-and-Pin payments.

Caroline Pidgeon, a London Assembly Member, recently raised a question around the usage of magnetic stripe payments in the capital's iconic black cabs.

Transport for London (TfL), the regulatory body that oversees transportation in London, has specified which card payment devices are approved for installation in licensed taxis. However, it lacks access to specific usage data, citing commercial sensitivity as the reason for this information gap.

During a recent review process, TfL was able to extract valuable insights from the limited data provided by the card payment device providers. These insights revealed a significant decline in the usage of magnetic stripe transactions since the implementation of the card payment mandate.

Mayor Khan highlighted that for the majority of card payment providers, the downward trend in magnetic stripe payments was a notable finding. This data suggests that as Londoners increasingly opt for more modern and convenient payment methods, the need for magnetic stripe transactions in black cabs has diminished.

Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, said: “Transport for London (TfL) specifies which approved card payment devices can be fitted in London licensed taxis, however it does not have access to data on the day-to-day usage of these devices. Some data was provided by card payment device providers as part of TfL’s review, but this information is commercially sensitive.

“Through that data, TfL has been able to establish that, for the majority of providers, the use of magnetic swipe transactions has significantly declined since the card payment mandate was first introduced.”


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