A North East taxi firm has become one of the first in the UK to sign a deal with a mobile payment app.
Scrabbling around for loose change in the back of a cab could be a thing of the past for Blueline Taxi users, after the Newcastle-based firm signed up to Droplet, an app to simplify paying for journeys.
From now, all of its 817 drivers have the facility to offer customers the chance to pay for journeys from their phones.
Using state-of-the-art technology, passengers simply open the app where the driver’s listing will appear automatically, giving them the ability to see exactly who they are paying.
Droplet is the only iPhone app of its kind that lets iOS users with any UK bank account or card send money to people, and payment is instant, so drivers can easily see the notification on their own phone for reassurance that the correct amount has been sent.
“This is a massive breakthrough for the taxi sector and offers a host of benefits to Blueline and its customers,” said Steffan Aquarone, founder of Birmingham-based Droplet. “The app is fee-free so avoids the fees of up to 10% that drivers who accept cards have to pay.
“It’s quick to use so more journeys can be completed and the security of drivers will improve as they do not have to carry large amounts of cash with them. Passengers in the North East also don’t have to worry about being caught fiddling around for change or asking the driver to stop at a cash point.”
Blueline’s Frank Sims added his support: “It’s the future, it’s just so simple. People particularly like the fact they don’t have to pay any additional charges and we like the fact we don’t have to buy any extra hardware to make it work.
“Droplet’s systems benefit from military grade security so customers can rest assured that paying with their phones is safe and secure. It also improves safety by reducing the need to carry cash.”
Blueline is the third and largest taxi company to start accepting Droplet as a payment method, alongside ABC in Norfolk and A1 Taxis in Taunton.
It is now the fastest growing merchant sector for the mobile payment app, with more than 2,000 drivers signed up in just two months.
As an initial incentive, all participating taxis in the North East will be able to give out Droplet cash vouchers to encourage new and old customers to start using it as their preferred payment method.
Droplet co-founder Will Grant added: “More and more people are turning to mobile payments as they like the speed, security and flexibility. The fact that an established sector like taxis has adopted this approach proves that we can bring growth and innovation to all sectors.
“If a bit of technology can make an every day chore easier, it tends to be a hit with customers in a very natural way.”