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iPad, iPhone at heart of Square's NYC taxi payment system

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
In a bid to change the way people pay for cab rides, Square has rolled out a pilot program in New York City that leverages iPads and iPhones running specialized software as backseat payment stations.

Payment company Square announced on Tuesday that it has started an initiative, internally called "Checker," that will replace the existing backseat TVs of 30 NYC taxis with custom iPad pay stations, reports The New York Times.

Square claims that its new platform will streamline fare payment by allowing customers to swipe credit cards directly on the installed device at any time during a taxi ride instead of having to wait for a meter reading.

“The ability to pay at any point in the taxi ride is really important because it enables drivers to pick up more fares, faster,” Square's director of product Megan Quinn said.

The system also eliminates the need for paper as riders sign the iPad's screen with their finger after paying and receive a receipt via email or text message.

The platform's black metal housing incorporates a magnetic stripe card reader with an iPad running Square's proprietary software. Instead of the TV programming currently broadcast in New York's cabs, the Checker unit will display information regarding a cab's current location, route and fare.

In addition to the iPad-based unit, taxi drivers will be given an iPhone that can be used to adjust fares, add toll fees and maintain contact with dispatch.


Square looks to change taxi payments with NYC initiative. | Source: NYT


Square is known for its unique point-of-sale solution that allows users to process credit card payments from their iOS device in exchange for a percentage sales. Quinn points out that taxi drivers are among the service's most loyal customers, though strict New York regulations rendered the service useless.

“The traditional Square set-up wasn’t possible [in New York],” Quinn said. “So we started working closely with the New York City Taxi Commission” to improve the experience.

The pilot system promises to get fares in the bank accounts of taxi drivers by the next day, which is a vast improvement over the current system that reportedly takes up to 30 days to pay out credit card fares.

[ View article on AppleInsider ]
post #2 of 20
Where can I get that case?!
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- SolipsismX
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post #3 of 20
That's great, but I always prefer to pay by cash.
post #4 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by WardC View Post

That's great, but I always prefer to pay by cash.

I agree.

What's wrong with the current Credit card system in cabs anyway? Works fine for me.
post #5 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post

Where can I get that case?!

I was pooh-poohing Square's Register yesterday because it still used the same 3.5mm jack dongle for swiping cards, but this looks durable. I also assume it connects via the dock connector so it can be charged in that case.


Quote:
Originally Posted by frankie View Post

What's wrong with the current Credit card system in cabs anyway? Works fine for me.

I think people are just worried about security. I keep a special card for these types of transactions.

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post #6 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

I was pooh-poohing Square's Register yesterday because it still used the same 3.5mm jack dongle for swiping cards, but this looks durable. I also assume it connects via the dock connector so it can be charged in that case.



I think people are just worried about security. I keep a special card for these types of transactions.

Square needs to license to 3rd parties what want something that looks a bit more Professional than those headphone swipers. This case is a step in the right direction.
He's a mod so he has a few extra vBulletin privileges. That doesn't mean he should stop posting or should start acting like Digital Jesus.
- SolipsismX
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He's a mod so he has a few extra vBulletin privileges. That doesn't mean he should stop posting or should start acting like Digital Jesus.
- SolipsismX
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post #7 of 20
An Android character leaps into a New York cab and breathlessly yells, 'Follow that Apple!!!'

The cab driver asks suspiciously, 'Can you afford to pay for dis?'

Android asks, 'Do you accept NFC?'

The term NFC boggles the NYC cabbie...

Android exclaims, 'Never mind!,

I'll just pay cash. Follow the directions that Eric Schmidt gave me...'
I always appreciate an Android fan who puts his energy into advertising Apple products.
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I always appreciate an Android fan who puts his energy into advertising Apple products.
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post #8 of 20
As a photographer, I love using Square to receive payment, so I get the appeal. Paying for a taxi with anything other than cash and at the end point of my trip? No way. I ride in an NYC Taxi almost daily - no way am I going to swipe my credit card early.
post #9 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post

Square needs to license to 3rd parties what want something that looks a bit more Professional than those headphone swipers. This case is a step in the right direction.

Yes, from a hardware pov this looks solid. But the hardware is the easy part. It's the software and back-end that needs to be bullet proof. If so this suit of armour may work in NY cabs. It would need to have a chip card reader and loose the metal in more civilized countries
post #10 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by blaneyphoto View Post

As a photographer, I love using Square to receive payment, so I get the appeal. Paying for a taxi with anything other than cash and at the end point of my trip? No way. I ride in an NYC Taxi almost daily - no way am I going to swipe my credit card early.

I'm confused, how does this somehow prevent you from paying cash in a taxi?
post #11 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

I'm confused, how does this somehow prevent you from paying cash in a taxi?

I'm sorry you're confused. It doesn't prevent me from paying in cash. I'll continue to do as I do every day - cash upon arrival. But its another thing that I certainly won't use and I don't think is a good idea.... much like the annoying, autoplaying tv kiosks that all the taxis seem to have now.
post #12 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by blaneyphoto View Post

I'm sorry you're confused. It doesn't prevent me from paying in cash. I'll continue to do as I do every day - cash upon arrival. But its another thing that I certainly won't use and I don't think is a good idea.... much like the annoying, autoplaying tv kiosks that all the taxis seem to have now.

Myth busted.

You CAN pay cash for a NYC cab in New York City!
I always appreciate an Android fan who puts his energy into advertising Apple products.
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I always appreciate an Android fan who puts his energy into advertising Apple products.
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post #13 of 20
Curious location for the display - right outside the Apple store.
post #14 of 20
anyone know where to get this case...?
post #15 of 20
He's a mod so he has a few extra vBulletin privileges. That doesn't mean he should stop posting or should start acting like Digital Jesus.
- SolipsismX
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He's a mod so he has a few extra vBulletin privileges. That doesn't mean he should stop posting or should start acting like Digital Jesus.
- SolipsismX
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post #16 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

In a bid to change the way people pay for cab rides

which will in no way improve the dismal odds of getting one when it's raining.

I love having new and exciting ways to pay for what was never all that great to begin with.
post #17 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by GTR View Post

An Android character leaps into a New York cab and breathlessly yells, 'Follow that Apple!!!'

The cab driver asks suspiciously, 'Can you afford to pay for dis?'

Android asks, 'Do you accept NFC?'

The term NFC boggles the NYC cabbie...

Android exclaims, 'Never mind!,

I'll just pay cash. Follow the directions that Eric Schmidt gave me...'

Like
post #18 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by rbryanh View Post

which will in no way improve the dismal odds of getting one when it's raining.

I love having new and exciting ways to pay for what was never all that great to begin with.

Get Hailo. Link: Hailo App homepage. UK/IE
post #19 of 20
Apple, buy Twitter and Square, please.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #20 of 20
No one cares about the TVs, but I hope these are double bolted in with a ton of security to keep a thief from yanking one out (even at gunpoint) to not only get a free iPad, but also to steal all the credit card info inside.

Quote:
Originally Posted by frankie View Post

I agree.
What's wrong with the current Credit card system in cabs anyway? Works fine for me.

You agree to prefer using cash then state you use credit cards?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

I think people are just worried about security. I keep a special card for these types of transactions.

Although i also have a Debit card connected to an acct with little money in it to use at times im not sure of the business/card security. I also don't think this will be any less secure than paying for lunch at a restaurant or buying something at a small shop or even buying something from a little know website. There have been a lot of cases of waiters taking customers cards and swiping them on a pocket 'swiper' to steal their CC number. If someone wants your info they're going to get it regardless of where you use it.
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