Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Taxis Can Compete With Uber, Using Verifone's 'Curb' ride-hailing app

If it works in LAS VEGAS, surely it can also work here in LONDON!

Uber and Lyft are about to get some strong competition in Nevada. 

A new app promises to connect passengers to at least half of the cabs in Las Vegawho have already signed up. It’s expected to work with Smartphones, allowing people to e-hail a local taxi.  

The app is called Curb and is being developed by Verifone, a company that specializes in handling online payments.

Unlike Uber, the Curb app will allow users to call for a cab on demand, or schedule one in advance. Curb claims it will launch with 500 ‘licensed and insured taxi drivers,’ according to a company statement. In time the app developer says it will be linked with half of the taxi cabs in Las Vegas.

Curb will also charge a fixed price for taxi rides, regardless of demand. Uber uses what’s known as surge pricing, meaning the higher the demand for its drivers the more passengers pay for a ride.

Local cab companies set to be a part of the Curb app include LuckyCab, Western Cab Company and Nellis Cab Company.

Curb is also touting safety measures that have been a sticking point for Uber and Lyft. “Our drivers are already drug-tested and thoroughly background checked and our vehicles are regularly inspected,” according to spokesperson Jim Eckstaedt.

Editorial Comment:

Verifone (NYSE: PAY), the world’s leader in payments and commerce solutions, announced in October 2015, an expansion of its taxi electronic hailing (e-hail), payment and media business with the acquisition of Curb, a business that connects people in approximately 60 U.S. cities with rides from professional, fully insured, fully checked and fully-licensed taxi drivers. 

Unlike Uber, Curb allows passengers not only to hail an instant ride, but they can also make a pre-booking for a future ride. Something the Uber app doesn't allow. 

The question has to be asked, as london has one of the largest and most professional Tax fleets in the world, will Verifone be looking to introduce Curb here?