Premier Taxi to accept Apple Pay, Visa

SINGAPORE - Commuters can now pay with their iPhones for their rides on the 2,000 Premier Taxi cabs plying the roads, and can expect to also do so with their Visa cards later this year, The Business Times understands.

Together, these initiatives make Premier Taxi the second taxi company to accept these modes of payment here.

This is made possible by the introduction of a new payment system in the operator's fleet. The unified point-of-sale system accepts ez-Link and other contact and contactless modes of payment. These include "MasterCard, American Express, Diners Club, JCB, UnionPay and NETS, and soon Visa cards", said ez-Link on Wednesday.

The system was developed by German financial services and technology company Wirecard, which has a presence in Singapore.

BT understands that the system also accepts payment by Apple Pay, an e-wallet payment system found on iPhones. Currently, POSB, DBS Bank, OCBC Bank, United Overseas Bank, Standard Chartered Bank and American Express card users can link their cards to Apple Pay.

This mode of payment is already accepted in ComfortDelGro taxis. The company is the largest taxi fleet operator, with 12,775 Comfort taxis and 4,368 CityCab taxis as at April this year, according to the Land Transport Authority.

Apple Pay is still not accepted in taxis operated by TransCab and SMRT Taxis, operators of the second and third-largest fleets here. TransCab, however, is looking to allow American Express and UnionPay transactions in the near future, said TransCab general manager Jasmine Tan.

In addition to Apple Pay, Premier Taxis is expected to start accepting payment by Visa in the last quarter of this year. This means that it will be the second taxi company to do so, after Visa reinstated payment services in ComfortDelGro taxis earlier this year. Visa had withdrawn services from all Singapore taxi operators in mid-2013.

This was after it unsuccessfully requested cab companies to remove a 10 per cent levy on passengers who pay by Visa. The surcharge remains for ComfortDelGro passengers who pay by Visa, and will be likewise for those who ride in Premier Taxis. Premier Taxi managing director Lim Chong Boo said: "We're responding to requests from our commuters, and are now offering convenience of payment to them."

ez-Link is hoping that the convenience offered by this new system will attract more retailers to adopt it. ez-Link CEO Nicholas Lee said: "Merchants now have the option to choose the payment provider which best suits their business needs, from better cost-savings to operational efficiency."

This article was first published on June 09, 2016.
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