In response to the announcement made by PayPal, Taxiapp views the use of the company as a payment clearance option as toxic and is not currently promoting the PayPal deal to new drivers.
However, the situation is more complex for existing members. We cannot negate the fact that we as drivers are mandated to accept credit as a condition of our licence. Boycotting PayPal in the first instance would remove existing drivers from the payment system which could force them into a position of being unable to work legally. It would be irresponsible of Taxiapp to discard its obligation to those drivers and leave them stranded without a payment solution.
All Credit Card companies are predatory by nature and Taxiapp cannot allow itself to be pushed around by a parasitical company such as Uber in an increasingly hostile market. The only truly impenetrable way to solve such a conflict of interest is for the trade to own its own app and payment clearance solution; something Taxiapp is working towards. However, this can only be achieved if drivers were willing to get on board and support the trades only Cooperative app. If not, then the industry will continue to give its business away to various corporations.
PayPal was chosen in good faith and offered the best deal available to drivers at that time, and the team has worked tirelessly to reduce the rate even further. Certainly the route to securing the deal was a complex one as most have secondary ties elsewhere with various venture capitalists.
Our industry is rife with what may constitute a conflict of interest. For example, both Visa & MasterCard have indirect financial interests in Uber. Geely Holding Group (manufacturers of the new Txe) has a 10% stake in Daimler. Geely itself, has multi-million dollar links with Uber, and Daimler is the parent company of both MyTaxi & ViaVan. Daimler also invested in Taxify (remember them?) Russia’s Sberbank, who owns over 30% of the aggregate Russian Banking Market invests heavily in Gett…as well as Uber. Computer Cab plc - who’s brand includes DataCab, Call-A-Cab, and Local minicab Groups - is a subsidiary of ComfortDelGro who owns the second largest public bus company in London- operating under the name of Metroline LTD. Izettle is owned by PayPal and Cabapp processes it’s payments through Barclays- another huge investor in Uber Technologies.
Nevertheless, none of the aforementioned companies can lay claim to working solely in the best interest of drivers and it doesn’t absolve Taxiapp of its responsibility it has to the trade. Whilst not promoting PayPal to new drivers, a period of transition will be needed while the team explore alternative clearance options for its existing members. It must be stressed, using PayPal has never been a prerequisite of being on the app so ultimately the choice to continue using PayPal - or seek an alternative clearance model - has to be left up to the drivers themselves. Again, in a narrowing market and until TAXIAPP has the funds to integrate its own payment solution, finding an alternative that is devoid of a conflict of interest will be an increasingly difficult one.
It is worth remembering, that Taxiapp’s steering group is not made up of financiers or paid individuals; it is run by a group of drivers who commit a considerable amount of their own time for free to ensure the trade has it’s own technological platform and that it runs smoothly… so your patience and support in this area will be valued
I will be in GSS at 10am and again at Camley St Café at 2am Tues-Friday for roughly one hour for anyone who has concerns about the PayPal deal and wishes to discuss the issue further.
All the best
SPD- TAXIAPP Communications