Tech blog The Verge reports that Square mobile payments will soon be available via iPad in lots of NYC taxis. Thirty NYC taxis (to be exact) are receiving iPads equipped with the Square payment system. Drivers will also receive iPhones, and these phones can be used to add any additional payments to the iPad screen that patrons will be viewing. Here are some additional details:
How Square Inside of NYC Cabs Will Work
Square is currently testing out their iPad service by installing the mobile payment system inside of thirty NYC taxis. The enclosed (read: impossible to steal) iPads will be equipped with the Square payment system. During a taxi ride, passengers will be able to view their entire trip on a map via iPad screen. The total cost of a trip will also be calculated and shown on-screen. At any point during a ride, a passenger can swipe a credit card anywhere on the iPad screen and pay for the trip. This will eliminate the need to hand a passenger a paper receipt, and it will also make the trip more comfortable for passengers.
Unlike a number of startups these days, Square is a solid company that has a revenue plan. Square will take a percentage of all credit transactions made. On the taxi drive side of things, drivers who are participating in this new venture will have to pay $350 for the iPad plus Square combo. However, most cab drivers are more than happy to fork over this amount of cash, since installing a Square payment system means being able to take more clients who want to pay through credit card. Also, Square’s transaction fees are much lower than the fees that credit card companies charge, so everyone really wins out here in the end.
A Lengthy Enough Trial
Square has been working hard to add the mobile payment system to NYC taxis. Now that the system has been approved for a limited about of time (the trial will end in 2013), Square is confident that taxi drivers and the NYC Taxi and Limo Commission will both find the new Square mobile payment system efficient. Of course, passengers who like to pay via credit while avoiding having any interaction with a driver will also benefit from the Square system.
If you happen to hop into a NYC taxi between now and 2013, you might just find one of those thirty cabs featuring the new Square/iPad combo. I’m betting that if you get the chance to test this payment system out, you’ll find out exactly why Square is one startup that’s worth watching – and worth snagging a piece of if the company ever decides to go public. On the other hand, there are lots of taxis in NYC, so you might not find one that has the new system in place, but I’m hoping that all NYC cabs will soon have Square systems integrated into the backseat area. Oh, there’s one more great thing about the new Square + NYC taxi venture – the iPads that are part of this system will be placed smack where that small TV in the back of cabs is now situated, and anything that gets rid of those small and annoying TVs is a good idea indeed!