In the UK, it has been reported that over 23 million of us hardly use cash in our day-to-day lives, with around 84% of transactions now being completed using card and contactless payment methods.
Yet, despite this, many taxi drivers in Manchester still provide a cash-only service.
The decline of cash
Cash has been on a steady decline since 2017, but it’s the Covid-19 pandemic that seemed to really speed up its demise when the government began to encourage contactless payments to limit the spread of the virus.
Now, as the pandemic continues to subside, it’s clear contactless payments are here to stay. The speed, ease and convenience of contactless payments are hard to argue with; we can make payments on our card, smartphone and smartwatch with just a tap.
Not to mention, contactless payments are up to ten times faster than other in-person payment methods.
Using contactless as standard
In many cities around the UK, we pay for transport with our cards or contactless devices, from buses and underground services to local taxis and networks like Uber – making it easy for us to become accustomed to the convenience of paying by card.
Therefore, in busy cities like Manchester, only taking cash runs the risk of turning away customers.
Since 2016, Transport for London (TFL) has required that all licensed taxis accept card payment, after a consultation found that 86% of people favoured card payment.
Birmingham, Chelmsford, and Liverpool soon followed suit and made card payments mandatory, along with Ireland.
Why taxi drivers should adopt card
There are a few reasons why taxi drivers – both in Manchester and around the UK – still prefer to take cash.
One main reason is the transaction fee that comes with card payments. Many are still under the impression that taking card payments incurs a high fee, however, this is not always the case.
Taxi drivers also like the flexibility of having an immediate cashflow as, in some cases, it can take up to five working days to process the funds into the driver’s bank account.
UTP provides debit and credit card solutions for small and medium-sized businesses. For businesses on the road especially, it has an array of mobile card machines, which take contactless payments and allow customers to give gratuities.
The mobile devices use a roaming SIM card, which connects to strong signals anywhere in the UK – and is ideal for taxi drivers who can find themselves going to remote locations.
UTP also aims to offer its customers some of the lowest transaction fees in the UK. On average, UTP can save their customers 30% on transaction fees*.
To combat the funding delays most businesses experience, UTP has introduced a free ‘Faster Processing’ service. This enables businesses to get paid in hours, rather than days. This source of immediate cashflow can potentially help taxi drivers in unforeseen circumstances.
Additionally, card payments allow taxi drivers to keep track of their income. UTP gives businesses the option to receive daily reports as well as a monthly report, with both reports showing the total number of transactions and total earnings.
How can card payments benefit taxi drivers in Manchester?
If taxi drivers were to accept card payments, they could potentially attract more people to use their service, as fewer people are carrying a wallet on them daily.
UK Finance found that the most infrequent users of cash were 25 to 44-year-olds – yet, the largest age bands in Manchester are 20 to 34-year-olds.
Accepting both card and contactless payments could improve customer satisfaction and loyalty, as customers increasingly enjoy the speed, convenience and effectiveness that paying by card enables.
Taxi drivers can also benefit from the speed of card transactions, as the time spent having to count and check money could be spent accepting a new ride.
What’s more, accepting card payments is arguably safer for both taxi drivers and the general public. Many taxi drivers work through the night, and ending your shift with lots of cash could leave you vulnerable to criminals. Although accepting card doesn’t make you exempt, it could make you less of a target, as there’s little or no cash to steal.
As cash continues to decline and contactless payments increase, a card machine for businesses could help you grow and stay competitive. Visit UTP’s website to find out more about its mobile card machines.
*Statistics provided by UTP.