Last week, we told you about an innovative proposal from Square, the mobile payments company run by dashing parallel entrepreneur Jack Dorsey, who is simultaneously employed as the executive chairman of Twitter. Rather than squawking Taxi TVs, which allow consumers to pay by credit card, but force cabdrivers to absorb costly processing fees, Square proposed testing out iPads with apps–and its own cheaper mobile payments system, of course.
Currently, fleets can withhold 5 percent of fares paid by credit card from drivers after a shift to cover the 3.5 percent processing fee and a 1.5 percent bookkepping costs. David S. Yassky, the chairman of the Taxi and Limousine Commission, made no bones about his goal in testing it out: to push down the price of credit card transactions.
Existing vendors Creative Mobile Technologies and Verifone, who maintain a duopoly among yellow cabs, already made a fuss when the idea was raised earlier this year, but now, the Wall Street Journal reports, they’ve muscled their way into the TLC’s pilot program. CMT, Verifone, and Square will all get a chance to test out ways to transform 30 yellow cabs a piece.