Hailing a taxi used to be a frustrating affair, but now, it's as easy as pulling up an app and tapping a screen... in select cities, that is. Uber
has taken off in a major way, and it's expanding fairly rapidly. But obviously, the market is big enough for other players to step in, and that's exactly what's happening with the introduction of Way2ride. VeriFone Systems has this week announced the new app, which allows New York City taxi passengers to get in, tap, and get out the moment their ride is over.
Way2ride, currently available for iOS and Android smartphones, doesn't require NFC
or any other tap-to-pay technologies. Once inside the cab, passengers can pay at any time with a tap of their phone. At the end of the trip, riders can simply get out of the taxi and get on with their day. Digital receipts are stored in the app and accessible at Way2ride.com for easy tagging and expensing of business trips. After the New York launch, VeriFone will be expanding Way2ride acceptance throughout its network of more than 70,000 payment-enabled taxis worldwide, and what makes it unique is that no specific internal phone technology is required.
Way2ride is VeriFone’s first commercial deployment of the Zoosh technology, which utilizes the speakers and microphones of smartphones to securely exchange encrypted data between devices, allowing app developers to unlock the potential of non-NFC smartphones to deliver single-tap functionality alongside their NFC solutions. VeriFone’s open API cloud platform currently supports taxi and for-hire vehicle implementations (e.g., in-taxi interactions). Future releases will address additional verticals, such as petroleum (e.g., interactions in the C-store and at the pump).
It's actually fairly interesting that we haven't heard of this tech being used more broadly, but hopefully it'll pick up following this.