Contactless taxi payments set to replace cash: Cabcharge

The taxi payment company has reached the two-million contactless payment mark through its in-taxi terminals, and will be looking to enable near-field communication (NFC) payment options very soon.

Contactless payment in taxis is on the rise and on track to replace cash transactions, according to Cabcharge.

The company specialises in taxi payment technologies and its payment terminals are widely used across taxis in Australia.

In 2008, Cabcharge signed a multimillion dollar contract with VeriFone for 20,000 contactless EFTPOS payment terminals. Contactless payment by credit and debit cards are enabled by RFID technology.

The company has completed the activation of the Europay standard, or EMV, across all those terminals. It works in conjunction with Cabcharge's Fastcard technology, to enable the processing of all cards that have MasterCard PayPass or Visa payWave contactless payment capabilities.

Cabcharge recently hit the two-million contactless payment transaction milestone, and is expecting that number to rise exponentially. The company particularly has high hopes for MasterCard and Visa contactless payments, which have each racked up 500,000 transactions since the beginning of the year.

"Currently, 20 per cent of all MasterCard and Visa transactions processed via our terminals are contactless, and this is rapidly growing," Cabcharge chairman Reg Kermode said in his annual results report. "As expected, contactless transactions are beginning to replace cash."

"For example, Visa contactless transactions on the weekend jumped to 25 per cent of all Visa transactions."

Cabcharge also has plans to facilitate new near-field communication (NFC) payment options, by upgrading existing in-taxi payment engines that link the EFTPOS pin-pad to the company and NAB's transaction processing centres.

Plans were announced last year, but Cabcharge have just commenced the first production run of the engine Fareway Plus, formerly known as the integrated payment platform (IPP). It will enable fast EFTPOS payments and for applications, such as for the meter and in-taxi surveillance camera, to be downloaded.

In August, Westpac, in partnership with MasterCard, commenced trials of NFC payments with Google Android OS smartphones . The pilot will be using MasterCard's virtual debit card technology.