VeriFone, the global e-payments company behind some of the world's most widely used credit card-reading technology for retailers, is again trying its hand at mobile payments, this time with Way2Ride, a new app that lets you hail and pay for taxicabs on your smartphone.
Way2Ride works similarly to e-hail apps like Uber, which lets you hail a car on-demand through your smartphone. But VeriFone is marketing Way2Ride as a way to pay for rides in any cab, regardless of whether you hail it on the street or order it from your phone. The app requires you to "check in" to a cab once you get into the car by hovering your phone near the in-cab television screen, thus pulling up your credit card info, desired tip amount, and whether you'd like a print or email receipt.
Way2Ride introduces VeriFone to a new and significantly different set of competitors. In New York City, Way2Ride's launch city, Uber and Hailo are its two most significant competitors. Both are currently participating in the city's yearlong pilot program for e-hailing taxi apps, along with a third startup called Taxi Magic. But while these existing apps allow you to hail cabs on your phone, none accept in-app payments, instead requiring you to pay with cash or credit card. An Uber spokesperson tells Fast Company this is "due to local regulations."
[Image: Flickr user Ben Fredericson (xjrlokix)]