MasterCard Worldwide and VeriFone Holdings (NYSE: PAY) today announced that New York City (NYC) taxis are accepting MasterCard PayPass.
Certain NYC taxis began accepting PayPass in June and more than 5,000 NYC taxis are anticipated to accept PayPass by December 2007. MasterCard is the global leader in contactless payments, with more than 16 million PayPass cards and devices in use at more than 55,000 merchant locations worldwide as of Q2 2007. MasterCard is leading the introduction of cashless payments to transit environments around the world, including subway systems, buses, ferries, parking lots, tolls and taxis.
The first taxis in the United States to accept contactless payments were announced by MasterCard in November 2006, in Philadelphia. Today, 1,600 Philadelphia taxis are equipped with systems implemented by VeriFone's US-based taxi business, VeriFone Transportation Systems, and accept PayPass. In addition to the successful Philadelphia deployment and ongoing New York City rollout, MasterCard and VeriFone are engaged in a pilot program in Las Vegas taxis scheduled to be completed later this year. The taxis also accept traditional magnetic stripe payment cards.
"With MasterCard PayPass, taxi passengers no longer need to fumble for cash or coins or wait for a driver to make change," said T.J. Sharkey, Group Head, Merchant Sales, U.S. Commerce Development, MasterCard Worldwide. "MasterCard has led the way in deploying contactless payments in taxis, buses and subway systems around the globe. This is a perfect solution for transit environments because it helps get passengers to work, to a show or to a game more quickly and easily."
To use PayPass in participating taxis, passengers simply tap their PayPass-enabled card or device on a contactless reader attached to a VeriFone integrated payment and information system located in the back seat of the taxi. With no swiping or signatures required under $25, PayPass transactions are executed quickly, conveniently and securely. Taxi passengers will have the option of adding a gratuity to each transaction.
"VeriFone's system provides the convenience and information that taxi passengers in a busy city like New York deserve, with news updates, access to restaurant information and utilizing the payment industry's fastest and easiest payment option," said Jeff Dumbrell, VeriFone Senior Vice President, North America. "With MasterCard PayPass acceptance, taxi passengers can quickly 'Tap & Go' and be on their way."
Each passenger will have backseat access to a VeriFone Passenger Information Monitor (PIM) that will deliver a wealth of content, ranging from local news and up-to-date traffic and weather patterns to restaurant, nightlife, shopping and hotel recommendations. Local news and information will be provided from WABC-TV; its sister company ESPN will deliver sports results; while Zagat Survey will deliver entertainment, retail and lodging content. The PIM will also feature movie and theater listings as well as descriptions of New York City events in categories such as art, theater, comedy, music and sports.
VeriFone estimates that MasterCard PayPass cuts approximately 45 seconds off the transaction time in taxis when compared to cash, and 15 seconds when compared to swiping a traditional payment card. VeriFone is the majority shareholder of VeriFone Transportation Systems, a joint venture between VeriFone Holdings, Inc. and TaxiTronics, the company that services over 8,000 of the taxi meters in the city cab fleet.