According to an article in The Guardian, all black cabs in London will support contactless payments since October 31.
The London black cab will have a more competitive edge in the fight against Uber and other app-based taxi apps as of this week. Since Monday 31 October, all black cabs will be required to have a contactless card payment reader, either fixed or handheld.
Although from January 2017, cabs will need to have a card reader installed on the passenger side of the glass. Many drivers, who have the reader on their side of the partition, object, because they fear having the reader with the passenger makes for more potentially unsafe situations. Like when the passenger says the reader is not working and the driver is forced to leave his protected front seat.
TfL has announced the news, after saying having a card reader was only optional. The move will mean you’ll no longer have to ask a cabbie to pull over at a cash machine so you can pay your fare. However, it’s worth noting that the minimum fare for a black cab will rise by 20p from £2.40 to £2.60 if you use a card as payment, to cover the costs „associated with card payments“. But TfL has also said if you use a card to pay you’ll no longer have to pay a surcharge, so whatever price is displayed on the meter is the price you’ll pay.
TfL’s Taxi and Private Hire General Manager, Helen Chapman, said: „Many taxi drivers have been accepting card payments for years but customers were never sure when hailing a taxi whether they could pay by card. We’ve listened to customers, and we believe this will make journeys in black taxis even more convenient“.
„We’re hoping too that this will benefit London’s historic cab trade, and enable them to stay an attractive choice in an increasingly cashless world.“