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London cabbies embrace contactless payments in Uber fightback

Black cab drivers in London are fighting a rear guard action against the encroachment of Uber drivers on their turf by accepting card and contactless card payments.

The innovation is being put forward by the mayor and Transport for London (TfL) as part of efforts to ‘enable quicker and more convenient journeys’.

Consultations have shown widespread public appetite for such systems with 86 per cent of passengers backing the introduction of card payments and 68 per cent supportive of a contactless option.

Drivers insist that passengers opting for either payment method will face no surcharge on their fare to cover the transaction costs of either method, with these expenses being recouped through a 20p increase in the minimum fare to £2.40.

TfL’s Garrett Emmerson said: "Mandating card payments in taxis will mean customers no longer have to consider how they might pay for a journey before getting into a taxi. It will also benefit drivers, who will see their services opened up to potential new business."

Subject to approval rollout of the new payments system will begin in April next year with all cab drivers accepting card payments by October 2016.

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