Thursday, October 29, 2015

TfL's Report On In Cab Mandatory Credit Card Payment Facility.

We did try to warn you. We said "be careful what you wish for." 

Reports of alleged secret meetings between certain credit card machine suppliers and TfL were all over social media. 

Taxi Leaks gave full details of the CC consultation. 

We also predicted the outcome, should apathy see drivers not bothering to fill it in. 

Well, it appears that only 538 taxi drivers out of a possible 25,000, were bothered enough to reply and now the writing is on the wall.

The consultation results are at this moment being collated. TfL will now do as they like, as usual.

As we predicted, TfL are stipulating only approved equipment will be allowed. The major machine suppliers are allegedly rubbing their hands at he news, card payment machines are to be fitted mandatory, under the conditions of fitness regulations. At present, equipment is offer free (under certain terms and conditions). But will this situation change in the near future, when the equipment finally becomes compulsory in every vehicle?

As TfL seem to love a statistic, we would point out, at present over 66 % of the major CC payment equipment suppliers add a surcharge of 10% to passenger accounts. We also predict TfL will be taking active steps to see the driver paying any surcharge, as they feel the customer should only have to pay the meter price. 

Again it will be the driver, who will be forced to pay a premium to a third party. 

The email below has been sent out to most of the people who filled in the consultation, leaving a valid email address. 

Already, you can see TfL starting to spin the consultation replies to fit with their own agenda.

Dear Sir/Madam,

We recently consulted on proposals for passengers to pay by credit or debit cards for their journeys in taxis. Thank you to all those who took part 

We received 1,097 responses to the consultation. 49 per cent of respondents (538) identified themselves as taxi drivers – 45 per cent of these were All London drivers (497) and 4 per cent were Suburban drivers (41). 27 per cent of respondents (300) were taxi users. 

(That means that almost 256, approx 25% of those filling in the consultation were neither Taxi drivers or Taxi users. Should this not make the consultation null and void?)

86 per cent of respondents (939) supported the introduction of card payments in all taxis in London, with 68 per cent of respondents (743) supporting contactless payments. 

(But how many of these 939/743 replies were from non Taxi drivers/users ? If you were to take away the 'non Taxi drivers/users', would this show a different result percentage wise?)

We are now reviewing the consultation responses and hope to announce a decision on any changes in early 2016. We will contact you again once a decision has been made. 

(Looking at the legal implications contained in the full report found by clicking link below, it seems to us a decision has already been made !)

A copy of the full consultation report and our response to issues raised can be found here 
>Click Here<

If you have any questions on the consultation, please contact me at

Yours sincerely, 
Gary Murphy 
Transport for London
Consultation Team.

Lets have a close look at the legal implications contained in this TfL report, posted on their website on the 22nd of this month.

'In order to enable passengers to be able to pay by credit and debit card in all licensed taxis it will be necessary to introduce a new requirement that taxi drivers must have an approved card payment device in their taxi when working -and- that device must meet the minimum requirements approved by TfL'

Funny, when we leaked this information a few months back, we were shouted down by certain third parties who have a conflict of interest. We were also accused of trying to start malicious, untrue rumours !

The legal implications announcement goes on to state:

'This will be included as a requirement in the Conditions of Fitness, which set out the requirements that all vehicles must comply with to be approved for use as a taxi in London or for the taxi licence to be renewed.

The existing guidelines on electronic payment devices in taxis will also be updated to include the new requirements and all devices will still have to comply with these guidelines – companies wanting their devices to be approved will still be required to contact TfL and submit evidence confirming that their devices meets the relevant standards and also demonstrate where it would be fixed inside a taxi. The Cab Order will also need to be amended to make acceptance of card payments a condition of taxi driver licences.

A new policy will be published setting out what points will be considered and potential action taken when a complaint is received about a taxi driver refusing to accept a credit or debit card payment or not having a working credit or debit card payment device that complies with the relevant requirements.

Where a taxi driver is found to be using a taxi that is not fitted with an approved card payment device then the driver will be advised that the vehicle cannot be used as a licensed taxi until an approved card payment device has been fitted and this has been checked by an authorised officer or someone authorised to carry out this check on TfL’s behalf.'

Before this is finalised, perhaps TfL would like to inform the trade just what they consider to be an approved Card Payment system!

Perhaps TfL would care to explain further if/how they intend to make card payment acceptance mandatory, as at present the law (as it stands) doesn't allow this. TfL say they will make it part of the conditions of licensing of the driver. 

Freedom of choice:
Although it is our policy that more drivers should take card payments, we believe it must remain voluntary. We also firmly believe that drivers should be free to choose which system of clearance they want to use.

Verifone, TaxiWorld, CabVision, CabApp, iZettle, PayPall, Hand Held, Radio Circuits and other Smart Phone Apps are all viable options to most drivers and that's how it should stay. 

There must be no cartel formed: 
Which could then manipulate rentals and surcharges. 

Taxi Leaks roving reporters have been carrying out a covert survey, talking to and observing drivers on ranks. Our results, based on the figures returned, show that 7 out of 10 drivers now have some means of clearing card payments, be it machine or smartphone based. 

Over the last year, there has been a positive escalation in card payments acceptance which will continue to expand.


Matthew said...

It had always struck me just how many people rely on us for a living, taximeter companies, advertising/livery companies who took a massive amount from their clients while we were rewarded with a meagre £1k off the price of a new cab if we sported their adverts. Right to the trade dealers who were in cahoots with each other selling us sub-standard vehicles, and ( this still irritates me) calling them Fairways like we are all stereotype cab drivers alla Hale & Pace who all play golf.
In our recent struggle not one of these " Big Boys" has put their head above the parapet, yet they still want their monopolised shilling. All lining themselves up to lick Tfl's backside in the hope they will be the chosen one. Remember Ken's laughable cat converter? Plenty got rich from that scheme, putting some cotton wool in a canister and passing it off while we all payed upwards of £1500. We are all too passive and have been for far too long.

Anonymous said...

Hear all that you've said and it sounds like a real pot of shit tfl are cooking here. There should be no compulsion. This is my business and if I want to get paid in buttons or leaves or cash or card that's how I'll do it. They can go to hell too!

Anonymous said...

I'm in a loan cab at the moment, I have my own pci approved credit card terminal, but it has a verifone terminal too, I don't have a verifone account. So It has been deactivated by the he repair garage. What I noticed immediately is the bloody thing obscures my rear vision.

Anonymous said...

We really do have a serious image problem. Competition and I'm going back to the mid 90's with Addy Lee , they grew offering what the taxi trade lacked. Why are we still going over the same old ground with no definitive answer. I understand there are reasons why cabbies are against taking cards but this is the fundamental reason why we are looking rather dated and surrounded by Prius's. Tv commercials are all promoting cards along with Apple pay its fair to say people are getting brain washed into card payments and guess what , they've heard its hit n miss with London Taxi's...

Anonymous said...

We are over regulated, so TFLs solution, allegedly to help us compete is, you guessed it, more regulation , that will help no end.

Anonymous said...

I don't mind taking card payments for any job over £10 but it gets on my nerves when I have to wait on the rank for 30mins and get a £5 local and then have to give away any of it to izettle.

Jim Thomas said...

So TfL suggest putting the meter up, to compensate the driver having to pay the Credit Card subsidy. Why should cash customers be forced to subsidise card users who want credit?

The last thing this trade needs at present is a meter rise.

In fact, in the latest tariff consultation, TfL are suggesting fixed prices, meter reductions and shortening/removal of rate 3.

Also, why should we be dictated to, on what system we can use, just to increase the financial interests of a cartel.
There is absolutely no reasonable reason why machines need to be fitted on the partition, passenger side, blocking drivers rear view.

Nothing wrong with hand held units such as iZettle, PayPal and CabApp, which in certain cases, offer the driver a better financial package.

Our representative orgs should be all over this, to stop TfL penalising drivers and the majority of our customers.

But unfortunately, we all know how easily certain orgs can be swayed, when it comes to companies taking full page adverts in their trade media!