TfL teams up with PayPal as London’s black cabs start to take cashless payments

PayPal has been approved as a cards payment solution for Transport for London as it aims to add debit card and contactless payment options to all London’s taxis by the end of October.

The PayPal Here NFC enabled chip and pin card readers, which accept all major cards as well as Apple Pay, will be rolled out this month and promoted in an outdoor campaign through taxi ad firm Ubiquitous.

While the campaign will primarily be aimed at London taxi drivers and alerting them to the availability and benefits of adding PayPal Here, it will also be aimed at raising awareness among consumers as well.

Passengers will see tip-seat posters during their journey, which communicate the choice and availability of payment solutions within their chosen cab.

“There are more than 22,500 Black Cabs in London, offering a first class service throughout the capital. However, more people expect to be able to pay by card when they grab a cab, and are frustrated to find that many taxis don’t take cards,” says Rob Harper, director of mobile commerce at PayPal UK.

“We hope to remedy this by working with Ubiquitous to make PayPal Here the choice of both London’s cabbies and passengers in 2016, giving people the option to pay via debit or credit card and by contactless card and mobile payments.”

Marketing Week revealed that TfL was working to bring contactless options to cabs last summer when TfL’s head of transformation delivery Mike Tuckett said it would help London’s taxi network to match services such as Uber.

“We want to get to a point where nobody has to question or understand local transport systems in London, or the rest of the UK, but can just seamlessly get out their card or device,” he explained at the time. “Using public transport should be as easy as buying a cup of coffee.”

Since launching contactless payments across the tube in September 2014, adoption has been a massive success with more than one in five of TfL’s pay as you go customers – accounting for 700,000 journeys a day – now using contactless cards to travel.

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