Taxi Card Payments: A Simple Guide to Accepting Cashless Payments in Your Taxi
By the end of 2022, card payments in Spain are expected to grow by 11.4%, and with more businesses adopting contactless technology, cash dependence is expected to decrease in the years to come.
In 2021, Spain saw the highest increase in contactless payments (10%) compared to the rest of Europe. So if you’re not already accepting contactless taxi card payments, you ought to be. But how can you keep up with the competition and accept card payments in your taxi? It’s actually quite simple.
In this article, you’ll learn how to accept taxi card payments using a mobile payment app, the benefits, the potential costs, and how to get started.
Table of contents
- Are cashless taxi card payments required?
- How to accept taxi card payments
- Benefits of accepting taxi card payments with a mobile payment app
- What’s the best credit card machine for taxi drivers?
- Start accepting taxi card payments
Are cashless taxi card payments required?
Before we look at how to accept taxi card payments, you’re probably wondering if you’re actually required to. The answer is, it depends. If you’re operating a taxi in Spain, it’s highly suggested, but you should also have change available for passengers who prefer to pay with cash.
In Italy, if a taxi driver doesn’t accept credit cards, they run the risk of getting fined. In France, taxi drivers are not allowed to refuse card payments. In the UK, it’s mandatory to accept taxi card payments.
So it depends on where you’re operating a taxi, but even if taxi card payments aren’t required, the benefits of accepting credit card payments in your taxi make it worthwhile (more on those later).
📚 Further reading: Cashless Payments: Pros, Cons, How to Accept Them, & 8 Types
How to accept taxi card payments
There are two main ways to process taxi card payments. You can either get a taxi POS or mobile POS (mPOS) which usually comes with hardware (and software to operate it), or use a mobile payment app that lets you accept card payments from your phone.
Both are viable options, but if you’re looking for lower upfront costs, easier setup, and the ability to equip a fleet of taxi drivers with a way to accept card payments, a mobile credit card payment app is the better option. Let’s take a closer look:
Taxi card machine
Taxi card machines and POS terminals offer portable and compact options, but you still need to pay for the hardware and in some cases a monthly software subscription to operate the card machine.
The costs to buy a taxi card machine can range from €29 up to €259+ depending on the brand you choose, and payment service providers (PSPs) usually have transaction fees that range from 1.45% up to 3% plus €.05 to €.30 of the final amount.
Card machines often have network issues and short battery life, which can cause friction when it comes time for a passenger to pay.
Mobile payment app
Mobile payment apps are also portable and compact, but you don’t have to pay for POS hardware. You can use a mobile device you already own like a smartphone or tablet, download the credit card payment app, and start accepting card payments in your taxi.
Depending on the mobile payment app, there are usually two types of payment technology — scan to pay and tap to pay.
Scan to pay uses QR codes so the passenger can scan it with their smartphone and complete the transaction from their device. Tap to pay has near field communication (NFC) technology, so the passenger can use either their digital wallet app or a chip card to tap on your device and pay.
Depending on the payment service provider, with a mobile payment app, you can accept a range of payment methods including major credit card brands like Visa and Mastercard, digital wallets like Google Pay and Apple Pay, and Bizum, a popular peer-to-peer (P2P) payment method in Spain.
Each mobile payment app has a different pricing structure, but at MONEI, we make it easy to get started with affordable pricing (on the MONEI Pay plan). The monthly fee is only €1.00, transaction fees are 0.05%, and adding additional users is just €0.16 per day. So whether you’re a solo taxi driver or run a taxi business with a fleet of drivers, getting started and sticking to a budget is easy.
Let’s review all the advantages of using a mobile payment app to accept taxi card payments:
Benefits of accepting taxi card payments with a mobile payment app
Accept more payment methods
Accepting taxi card payments is a great step, but digital wallets like Google Pay and Apple Pay are also popular among consumers. Having the ability to accept these alternative payment methods in your taxi is possible depending on the mobile payment app.
With MONEI Pay for taxis, you can accept digital wallets and Bizum payments in your taxi. Bizum already has 20 million users (nearly 50% of the total population in Spain), so accepting it in your taxi is guaranteed to make the payment process easier for the majority of your passengers.
Save time and money
With a mobile payment app, the setup process only takes a few minutes and without the need for POS hardware, you’ll save money on the upfront investment that would otherwise come with buying a credit card terminal.
Transaction fees will range depending on the payment service provider, but with MONEI Pay you’ll always know what to expect. For Bizum and card transactions there’s only a small transaction fee of 0.05% and monthly fees are minimal. And because MONEI Pay is a mobile payment app, all you need is your smartphone (or another mobile device) to accept taxi card payments.
Good for independent drivers or taxi fleets
Whether you’re an independent taxi driver or own a taxi business with a fleet of drivers, a mobile payment app is a great way to accept card payments on your phone.
If your taxi company has dozens of drivers, they can all easily accept taxi card payments by downloading the mobile payment app to their smartphones. This way, you won’t have to purchase a taxi card machine for each driver.
📌 Get Started: Try MONEI Pay — the best taxi card payment app. Accept contactless QR code payments in your taxi from any mobile device. Spend 50% less than standard taxi POS costs, take Bizum and card payments, and improve the payment experience. Have a fleet of drivers? Add additional drivers for only €0.16 per day. Get MONEI Pay ››
Fast payment settlements
Payout lead times depend on the payment service provider you’re using, but can generally range anywhere from one to seven days. With MONEI Pay, once you’re an approved merchant, payment settlements take place 24 hours after transactions have been processed.
Faster payment settlements mean you’ll have better cash flow and won’t have to wait for the money you earned.
Allows you to accept payments anywhere and anytime
You bring your phone with you everywhere already, so using it to accept payments means you won’t have to add another device or charger to the list of things you carry with you each day (which is especially helpful in taxis with limited storage space). It’s a lightweight and portable option that lets you accept payments anywhere you go.
More secure than cash
Having bundles of cash in the glove compartment of your taxi can create security risks. What if your cab gets broken into or you experience passenger theft? Using a mobile payment app to accept taxi card payments means you won’t have cash lying around. Card payment app service providers must also be PCI DCC compliant, ensuring sensitive card data is never compromised. It’s also more hygienic due to contactless technology.
Offer contactless payment options
Mobile card payment apps usually have scan to pay or tap to pay technology (or both). With both of these features, you and your passengers never have to make contact.
Scan to pay involves QR payment codes that the passenger can scan with their smartphone and then complete the payment from their device. With tap to pay, the passenger can use a digital wallet app or a chip card, thanks to near field communication (NFC) technology.
📌 Pro Tip: Manage your taxi card payments with the MONEI Pay app. Download the mobile payment app to your mobile device (Android or iOS). Generate digital QR codes (to accept contactless in-person payments), view transaction history, and keep a pulse on your business from anywhere. Get MONEI Pay ››
Ability to send digital receipts
Save time and paper with digital receipts. With the MONEI Pay mobile payment app, passengers have the option to add their email address or phone number upon completing payment. This way a receipt will get sent to their preferred channel and you and your passenger won’t have to wait for the paper copy to print out. You can also share receipts for completed payments upon request via email, SMS, WhatsApp, or social media.
Review transaction history in real-time
Using your phone to accept taxi card payments also makes it easier to view transaction history whenever you need to. Whether you’re driving or have a fleet of taxi drivers, you can view all the payments in one place and in real time. You’ll never have to wonder if and when a payment goes through and you can regularly keep an eye on your sales.
What’s the best credit card machine for taxi drivers?
The best credit card machine for taxi drivers is none at all. Choose a more cost-effective, convenient, and reliable option for taking taxi card payments. With a mobile payment app you can accept a range of customer-preferred payment methods, add users for a low cost, and improve the customer experience with contactless payments.
Start accepting taxi card payments
Now that you know what taxi card payments are, how they work, and the benefits of accepting contactless card payments in your taxi, it’s time to get started. And we’re here to help. Create your MONEI account (with no obligations) to test payments and integrations and you’ll be ready to accept taxi card payments in no time.
Alexis Damen is the Head of Content at MONEI. She loves breaking down complex topics about payments, e-commerce, and retail to help merchants succeed (with MONEI as their payments partner, of course).