cab:app is a new easy and convenient way to hail a taxi in London, Glasgow and Edinburgh, among others. PYMNTS.com spoke with Peter Schive, co-founder of the company about the new app and its innovative payment system. “As a London cabbie for 10 years, I invented cab:app using the latest mobile app technology to help fellow drivers provide the public with a convenient, accessible, reliable and safe way to hail and pay for a taxi anytime, anyplace direct from their mobile phone,” he said.
The application is available for free on iPad, iPhone, Android, Blackberry and Nokia smartphones and is associated with Datacash – a Mastercard company – to create a seamless payment service. An easy and secure payment method is obviously central to cab:app. “We had the initial idea for mobile payments over 12 months ago but took our time to thoroughly research the market place as it was changing very quickly,” Schive said. “We met with a number of payment service providers, acquiring banks and business banks to determine with our developers the best model for securely processing mobile payments. It was important to provide taxi customers with the flexibility to pay with a widerange of debit and credit cards in a secure and fully PCI compliant framework, so we worked actively with our partners Datacash, Elavon and Santander overseveral months to implement our current mobile solution.”
Schive talked about the importance of a convenient and affordable payment method for both the industry and customers which did not really exist until now. “Historically paying for a taxi by credit card has been prohibitively expensive for passengers as the traditional suppliers of chip and pin solutions to the taxi industry typically pass on the cost to passengers at a rate which varies between 10-12% on top of the metered fare. Drivers are often locked into lengthy hardware contracts with suppliers, so it was never an ideal situation for either passengers or drivers” Mobile payments have changed the game completely and allows for competitive rates for drivers. “Recent developments in mobile payments has enabled cab:app to bring this cost down to under 4% and we expect this to be reduced further as business volumes increase. It is vital to the success of the taxi industry, particularly in the current economic climate, that they embrace new technology and payment methods to offer customers a better service at a lower cost”
Non-cash payment methods are incredibly important for the industry nowadays as more and more clients carry less cash and find it more convenient to pay with cards. Cab:app is also thinking about other, alternative payment methods which will be rolled out in the future. “We are already exploring mobile wallets to add to our system and will continue to research new developments in both contactless and phone payments. There is no doubt that our current mobile payments system will evolve in 2013 as these payment methods become more widely available. We intend to keep pace with developments, embracing the most secure and efficient payment methods for passengers and drivers”
With an expected expansion to 60 towns in the UK in the next few months and internationally in 2013, cab:app will be joining similar services like Uber in the US and Hailo in the UK in popularizing alternative mobile payment instruments.
Peter Schive is the inventor and co- founder of cab:app. Peter has been a London Hackney cab driver for over ten years. While he was doing the Knowledge he worked as a motorbike courier and also worked in a taxi dispatch centre. Before that Peter had his own mobile phone shop. He remains a working driver as he knows this keeps him close to the needs of drivers and passengers. He is continually looking for ways to improve upon cab:app’s technology.