Taxis & contactless payment is a match made in heaven

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All black cabs in London are required to take credit cards and contactless payments from October this year, in accordance with directives from Transport for London (tfl).

“Every black cab taking cards is fantastic news for London. In future, when you hail a cab you can be sure that you can pay the way you like – card, contactless or cash. That is without doubt better for our customers and for drivers who will benefit from extra work,”
– Steve McNamara, general secretary of the Licensed Taxi Drivers Association

The retail industry is in a state of revolution with the use of mobile and contactless payment technology becoming a cornerstone in a drive to deliver that all important customer experience. In the UK’s transportation sector, Transport for London (TFL) have also recognised the massive uplift in customer convenience gained through the use of contactless technology for ticketing across their underground and over-ground train networks, bus routes, and now, their fleet of traditional black cabs.

This decision from tfl was set against a background of card payments that according the UK Card Association accounted for 32% of UK GDP in 2014 or £600 billion in 13 billion transactions.

Today’s world of commerce, communication and transportation is mobile. The London cabs are one of the last bastions of an earlier world. Taxis in many countries from Denmark to The Lebanon have embraced contactless and card payments to the relief of the traveller leaping into a cab at an airport and hoping that their assumption of everyone now accepting card payments wasn’t wrong.

It’s nearly as simple as 1,2,3

The idea of course is a sound one, but there are implications before everyone rushes off with their screwdriver to install their payment terminal. The following are elements that MUST be taken into account when fitting a payment terminal within a taxi.

  • Comply with the requirements of the current banking industry standards, including PCI directives and physical security best practice
  • Meet all requirements as regards safety, technical acceptability and operational/data integrity. andbe checked regularly and maintained to operational standards, including any repairs after damage.
  • Be designed, constructed, installed and/or carried in such a way and in such materials as to present no danger to passengers or driver, including impact with the equipment in the event of a collision.
  • Be protected from the elements, secure from tampering and located such as to have the minimum intrusion into any passenger area
  • Be free from obscuring or interfering with the operation of any of the vehicle’s standard and/or mandatory equipment
  • Comply with any legislative requirements in respect of the Motor Vehicle Regulations

And then there is the age-old question – Metal or Non Metal?

Other manufacturers of payment mounts have raised questions over the suitability of metal based mounting solutions in contactless payment environments such as transportation.

As the global market leader, Ergonomic Solutions naturally undertakes extensive testing of all its products before releasing them to the market, and their contactless payment solutions were no exception.

However, as a responsible manufacturer, Ergonomic Solutions took note of the perceived concerns and commissioned an assessment using FIME, a trusted consultant and advanced end-to-end testing services provider within the payment industry, to confirm our belief that placing a payment terminal on a metal stand does not interfere with the contactless payments transaction process.

The three tests conducted by FIME used a representative payment terminal on both a metal stand, and a plastic stand. FIME also undertook the same tests using a payment terminal which was not mounted on any stand to create a reference point for the other two, as a control.

The results of the test showed that there were no differences in the signal in either of the three test scenarios.

Ergonomic Solutions has already supplied of over half a million contactless-ready technology mounts to a broad range of household name retailers and organisations in the transport sector in the last 18 months alone. It is a testament of course to the adoption of contactless payments by the general public, but it also demonstrates that the range of SpacePole payment solutions is seen as the product of choice, and stable operational platform for secure contactless transactions at the point of payment.

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