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Cabs in Washington, DC are replacing meters with Square readers

Taxi drivers in the District of Columbia will pay lower transaction fees.
Rob LeFebvre, @roblef
May 17, 2017
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Washington, DC Department of For-Hire Vehicles

If nothing else, Uber has permanently disrupted the ride-for-hire system that has traditionally been served by taxis. Grabbing a ride has never been easier (at least where services like Lyft and Uber are allowed to operate), and paying with a credit card number stored in an app ensures that none of the drivers or riders need to worry about cash. Taxi companies have been trying to push back, however. Square is helping the fight, too, with a partnership to process payments for cab drivers in Washington, DC.

Square is one of the original financial payment services, with an app and plug-in dongles to let everyone take credit cards with a mobile device. The company isn't getting any money from Washington, DC for this partnership, according to Bloomberg, and its even charging a reduced transaction rate. Taxi drivers will need to download a meter app approved by the Department of For-Hire Vehicles, which will let riders swipe, dip or tap their payment at the end of the ride. Tips will happen via the app as well, and electronic receipts can be sent via email or text message, just like the standard Square app. Drivers will need to move to the new platform by August 31, 2017.

DC taxis already have their own app, so this new partnership is yet another way to stay competitive with ride-share services like Lyft and Uber.

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