23 September 2014

London cabbie ditches cash for Pingit (for one week)

15 July 2014  |  4554 views  |  9 London  Bridge

A London cabbie is promising to talk customers out of cash payments this week and accept fares from passengers who pay using the Barclays Pingit mobile app.

When they took to the streets last month to protest the threat posed by ride-sharing app Uber, London's black cab drivers were branded technological dinosaurs by many.

But 23-year veteran Ian Cable - who became the first black cab driver to accept chip and PIN back in 2004 - is embracing the smartphone revolution and mobile payments.

If they want a ride this week his passengers will be asked to download the free Pingit app, which is available to non-Barclays customers but requires users to go through a convoluted registration process. Once set up, passengers can scan a unique QR code in Cable's cab to pay for their fare.

Says Cable: "Not only is the app convenient for my passengers, because they don't need to worry about getting cash out, it means I have more time on the road to earn money - rather than stopping off at the bank to pay in my earnings or pulling up at ATM's for passengers with the risk of getting a hefty parking fine."

But, much like the Manchester Cashless Street stunt last month, Cable will encourage the use of Pingit, but won't be turning away passengers who prefer to simply put their hands in the pockets and hand over a fistful of change.

Comments: (9)

A Finextra member | 15 July, 2014, 15:34

"refuse cash payments" and "only accept fares from passengers who pay using Pingit" certainly makes out that Cable will not be taking cash. 

The final paragraph is contary though - "Cable... won't be turning away passengers who prefer to [pay cash].

terrible reporting

James O'Keefe - Optima Consultancy (UK) Ltd - Manchester | 15 July, 2014, 15:39

Man refuses to comment on Finextra article.


Alexander Peschkoff - TEDIPAY - London | 15 July, 2014, 15:44

Confusing indeed... And why just for one week? Why not accept Paym-based services (such as Pingit) all the time, in addition to cash?..

Paul Penrose - Finextra - London | 15 July, 2014, 16:15

Hands up - simple editing mishap. Standfirst modified to reflect comments.

Matthew Shaw - CMS Payments Intelligence - Manchester | 15 July, 2014, 17:14

According to the Telegraph, Mr Cable did originally attempt to refuse customers paying in cash, but...

"After one day of the experiment, Mr Cable has run into a Transport for London roadblock. Despite the government agency banning cash on buses, it has said Mr Cable cannot refuse to take a passenger if they pay by cash. So, though he is going to encourage people to pay by Pingit, he can not stop them taking out their wallets, rather than their phones."

I agree with Alexanders' point, why not Pay-m and others? Sounds very much to me like a Barclays PR stunt

Michael Doyle - Recognex Limited - Tonbridge | 15 July, 2014, 17:35

Is the point here that Barclays is the only bank that is providing proxy lookup payments for commercial customers?

Geoffrey Barraclough - Barraclough and Co - London | 16 July, 2014, 09:08

Of course this is "just" a PR stunt from Barclays, but it's been remarkably effective. There was coverage in the Telegraph, Indpendent and Mail for a tiny investment. You have to respect that.

Alexander Peschkoff - TEDIPAY - London | 16 July, 2014, 09:13 Media coverage is one thing. User adoption and frequency of use is another matter altogether... I am surprised VocaLink/Paym are not pushing such initiatives. I wonder how many banks can offer today Pingit-like (Paym-based) functionality...
Matthew Shaw - CMS Payments Intelligence - Manchester | 16 July, 2014, 10:13

The argument here isn't how effective Barclays' PR team are. It's whether there is genuine appetite for adoption of a specific medium of payment over another.

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