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Sep 29, 2011

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Demand for Cashless Cabs in Chicago

Earlier this week, the Chicago Tribune ran an article about the common practice of Chicago cab drivers only accepting payments in cash.  This is despite the city’s Passenger Bill of Rights that assures payments can be made with credit or debit cards.  In “Some Cabdrivers Ride Patrons Over Plastic,” the author shares her frustration with not being able to use her debit card which she prefers over cash and checks.  

The author’s desire to pay by card was echoed by Mike Levine, owner of the Yellow Cab Company in Chicago.  In the article, he mentioned that the biggest complaint he heard from riders was the difficulty of using credit cards for payment.  He went on to say that he’s made it his mission to put more card machines in the back of cabs.  He’s also encouraging drivers to accept cards in an effort to grow his business and gain a favorable reputation. Levine pointed out that drivers stand to earn bigger tips from card-paying customers, citing company research that shows credit card users tip about 18 to 20 percent, while those who pay with cash generally tip about 15 percent. 

The reluctance of some cab drivers in Chicago is a departure from the taxi experience in New York City, where payment cards are fully embraced.  Every taxi in the Big Apple has a terminal in its back seat, making payment transactions fast, secure and convenient.   This has led to a surge of new business for cab companies, as well as to better tips for drivers.  Check out our video to learn more.

Posted by: Albert Coscia, Visa Corporate Relations on September 29, 2011 at 12:02 pm