Fasten your seatbelts for a cashless cab service in London

Going cashless seems to be all the rage in the UK this month. It has been just a few days since the buses in London went completely cashless, with passengers now allowed to ride only if they use prepaid tickets or payment cards. More and more retail outlets are already allowing users to tap their cards to pay for goods. Now, cabbies are following suit too! You heard it right: You don’t have to carry copper the next time you take Ian Cable’s cab.

Cable is using the Pingit app as an alternative to cash for the next five days. Pingit from Barclays, transfers the fare from the user’s account to the cabbie’s account in only 30 seconds.

The app is free and uses QR code scanning to transfer money. The customer just needs to scan a code present in the cab, and the transfer process is initiated. Since the app uses simple QR code scanning, it doesn’t require the customer to have an account with Barclays.

The Pingit app has proved to be secure and has won the confidence of customers over the past two years, as is evident from the fact that it has already been downloaded more than 3 million times and accounts for total transaction of more than 550 Mn pounds.

These are impressive numbers. There are good prospects of mass adoption of such cashless systems by the cab industry in the UK. Such systems offer numerous benefits to cab owners, drivers and end customers alike:

  • Drivers can do away from the hassle of carrying change and returning money to every customer.
  • Payment is instant, saving time.
  • They reduce wrong parking problems since cab drivers don’t have to wait for customers to withdraw money from ATMs.
  • The rush at ATMs is reduced.

There are therefore valid reasons for people to be gung-ho about this experiment. However, team LTP believes that for such an experiment to be really successful and to reach mass scale adoption, it needs to overcome certain flaws:

  • The customer might not have data balance in his smartphone to make the payment.
  • The customer might not have enough balance in his bank account! He might prefer to pay by a credit card.
  • The app is available only in English, ruling out a significant portion of the potential clientele.

We are all for such cashless initiatives by different industries and segments of society across globe. We would also keep a keen eye on how these solutions go about handling the challenges and obstacles coming their way.

But for the moment, cashless seems to be the flavor of the season!