If you’re a taxi driver or run your own private hire business, the chances are that you take a considerable number of your fares in cash. It’s always been the way, and it’s something that nobody expected to change quite so quickly as it has.

Even though cash payments have been in decline for some years now, the COVID-19 pandemic has pushed cash use over a cliff edge with many passengers avoiding cash altogether. For drivers who want to maintain their takings even despite lower passenger numbers, a card machine is now a vital piece of kit. In that vein, here are 5 of the reasons why you can’t afford to miss out on card payments in your cab.

1. It’s more hygienic than cash 

With COVID-19 at the forefront of everyone’s minds, taking card payments is simply the sensible thing to do. If a passenger with COVID passes you a note, it might be that your fare is a breeding ground for the virus, leaving you at risk of losing a fortnight’s takings as you self-isolate at home. 

With a contactless card reader, passengers can simply pass their card over the machine – paying without passing money or an infection between you. Card payments are safer, healthier, and altogether less risky than taking cash at a time when the public are firmly focussed on cleanliness.

2. It saves on time and effort

A further benefit of accepting card payments is that you won’t have to spend quite so much time counting out and depositing your fares at the bank. With all the money transferred directly to your account, there’ll be no need to worry about stopping off at your local branch and filling in your books will be a breeze as everything will be recorded neatly on your bank statement. With card payments, you’ll never have to spend time totting up your weekly takings again. 

3. It’s more secure

If carrying around hundreds of pounds in cash sounds like a familiar scenario, you’ll know the pressure of taking in your cash box at the end of a shift, or driving through a less-than-reputable neighbourhood with your finger on the lock button. The sad truth is that for all of its benefits, cash leaves you at risk of robbery or worse, and that’s a chance you just can’t take in today’s economic climate. With a card reader, you’ll never have to worry about losing your earnings to petty crime as there’s nothing to steal. Everything is safe and secure at the bank, and you’ll ever be covered in case of fraud.

4. Cash is on the way out

With contactless cards and even mobile payments taking over, people just aren’t carrying cash anymore. With the public using physical money less and less often, neglecting to take card payments could see you lose out on fares that other better equipped drivers will pick up without having to lift a finger. 

Recognising this, many local authorities have made it compulsory for taxis and licensed private hire vehicles to accept card payments. From London to Oxford and down to Bristol, you could be in hot water if you refuse to take card payments – and why would you moving with the times could make your life easier, your earnings more secure, and your passengers happier at the ease with which they can pay.

5. It’s easier and cheaper than you’d expect

Finally, if there were any reasons left to hold back on getting a card machine, the ease with which you can equip your cab may just win you over. With Ingenico contactless card readers, portable card readers and eCommerce payment gateways for online bookings and payments, merchant services provider UTP Group Merchant Services  make it incredibly easy and very reasonable to start taking card payments on the go.

With these payment solutions you really can take payment anywhere you are, meaning that your passengers can pay you even if there are no cashpoints in sight. This is critical because, with cash falling out of favour in the UK, fewer and fewer areas are served by a dedicated cash machine.

Taking card payments is as simple as contacting UTP Group and having a modern card reader delivered directly to you – primed and ready for use in your cab.

Getting on board with modern payments

There’s no doubt that change can be concerning when we’re already faced with difficult trading conditions on account of COVID-19. Despite this, however, accepting card payments could be exactly what you need to boost passenger numbers whilst protecting their health and your own at the same time. 

The small cost of installing and operating a card machine pales in comparison to the benefits of using this technology, and with bespoke and flexible options available, there’s really no reason not to come into the 21st century.


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