If you've ever tried to pay for a cab with plastic, you're likely aware that the experience is a nightmare. While New York City cabs have been equipped with card readers for a few years now, drivers are often combative about accepting credit due to service charges and the time it takes them to actually get paid.
If Square has its way, however, using a credit card for cab fare could suck a little less--and might even become fast and easy.
The service,, the seemingly sleepless creator and chairman of Twitter, has aimed to make it simple for anyone to accept credit payments. It utilizes a small card reader to enable anyone with a smartphone to charge a card. Friend conveniently forgot cash? No problem, just cover the bill and debit the card.
For its car service, Square has developed a fancy new piece of hardware (see it here), for a decidedly more cab-like transaction, according to the the New York Times. It will first be available in 30 New York City taxis, and if the initiative is successful, it will likely expand to more of the fleet.
For its part, Square is seeking to eliminate drivers' aversion to credit card payments by assuring the deposit of funds within 24 hours. No word on what percentage of each taxi transaction Square will pocket, but with any luck, it will undercut current processing fees.
If it does, using a card in a car might soon be less of a disaster.