London black cabs have been given the go-ahead to accept cards and contactless payments for the first time as they face up to competition from rival service Uber.
Competition in the taxi industry has risen fiercely in the last year, with London cabbies protesting against the taxi-hailing app Uber. The Licensed Taxi Drivers Association pushed for the app to be banned, arguing it works as a metred system, which is not allowed for private hire vehicles.
The plans for London's iconic black cabs to accept cards follows a consultation where 86% of respondents backed card acceptance, and 68% agreed contactless should also be available.
In the deal agreed with Transport for London, credit card companies have agreed to reduce transaction fees for the cab drivers, normally charged at a rate of up to 10% by cabbies for each card payment. However, fares will rise for all users by 20 pence per ride, irrespective of card use, to cover fees.
If approved by the TfL Board in February as part of the annual taxi fares revision, the fare change will begin in April 2016, with cards and contactless having to be accepted from October 2016.