Mobile Commerce Daily is now Retail Dive: Mobile Commerce! Click here to learn more!

VeriFone speeds up taxi payment services with Way2ride app

VeriFone has launched a mobile payment application that will allow taxi passengers to easily pay for taxi rides before the ride is even over.

The company rolled out the app first in New York, but plans to expand to its network of 70,000 payment-enabled taxis worldwide. Way2ride uses Zoosh’s sound-based technology to let passengers check into their ride and pay through a secure cloud transmission.

“VeriFone’s core DNA is allowing people to pay in any way they like for anything,” said Jason Gross, vice president of strategy and marketing at VeriFone Media, San Jose, CA. “We’ve seen a lot of activity in the taxi space and thought about how we could use our foothold in taxi to drive more adoption in mobile payments overall.

“We found Zoosh and said this would be a great companion for NFC where a consumer can pay for a taxi ride,” he said.

“We thought further about this and said well the payment is typically the end of the consumer interaction, so what can we do to provide more than just a swipe of a credit card, and that’s allowing them to get their receipt swipe a card and do it all before the ride is over.”

Taxi checkout
Traditionally, taxi passengers wait till the ride is over, grab for their wallet, select a tip amount, swipe their card, confirm payment, wait for a receipt and finally get out of the cab.

Way2ride both shortens that process and allows it to take place during the ride itself so that a passenger can hop out as soon as he or she gets to the final destination.

Consumers can preload payment information and preferred tip amounts into the app. Once inside the taxi, they can pay with one click, and a digital receipt will be stored within the app and on

If a passenger pays using Way2ride, the driver will be notified on the Driver Information Manager in the front of the taxi.

Another interesting feature in Way2ride is that if a passenger forgets an item in a cab, he or she can contact the cab through the app’s Lost Items feature.

Way2ride is available for free in Apple’s App Store and Google Play.

NFC alternative
The app uses Zoosh technology, which transmits encrypted data via speakers and microphones of the cab and smartphones.

This means that any smartphone, even one that is not NFC enabled, can use the app to pay, and no cases or add-ons are required. Especially since iPhones are not yet NFC enabled, this is a useful feature for a payment system.

Way2ride is built on VeriFone’s open API cloud platform, which ensures secure payments and messaging. The app also requires a log-in and a mobile verification via SMS for the initial log-in.

Additionally, consumers can choose to lock the app with a four-digit PIN if they prefer.

VeriFone plans to expand this cloud-based system to other verticals such as gas stations.

“Taxi owners and drivers themselves know that they have to provide an increasingly competitive service with all the new ways of transportation coming out,” Mr. Gross said.

“I think historically, people thought too much about the payment as the reason for the mobile experience,” he said. “That someone would go to a mobile payment app to pay. And the most successful apps think about that as the last thing a consumer does.”

Final Take
Rebecca Borison is editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York