As we heard last week, mobile payments platform Square pitched the New York Taxi and Limousine Commission to replace the current taxi TVs and payments technology in 50 cabs. The company says today that the pilot has been approved, and Square will be tested in up to 30 cabs in the test. AllThingsD first reported the news.
Drivers in the pilot will use a version of Square's existing software modified with new features specifically designed for taxis. An iPhone will be plugged into the meter, from which drivers can select tolls, view current traffic patterns, receive messages, and be able to view their trip history.
In terms of the consumer experience, an iPad will be installed in the partition. On the display, passengers can view information about their trip, such as their current location, running payment total, and other details. Users can pay with their credit cards using the attached swiper, add a tip, and more.
A spokesperson for Square tells us: "Taxi drivers are among our most active and loyal users, with thousands of drivers around the country choosing Square as a more simple, cost-effective way to get paid for their work. By partnering with the NYC Taxi & Limousine Commission on this pilot, we've built a system that meets the specific needs of NYC taxi drivers and makes the payment experience even better for their passengers."
Currently, Verifone Media and Creative Mobile Technologies run the payments and entertainment TVs in cabs in New York. According to the Wall Street Journal, the Taxi and Limousine commission will also be soliciting proposals from Verifone and CMT on a new payments system to be integrated in taxi cabs in a similar pilot.
Obviously, this is a big win for Square, which is already being used in taxis in San Francisco and other cities. What's interesting about the announcement is that Square will be launching a special version of the platform catered towards taxi drivers. If the company is launching a specific product for this group, perhaps Square will be customizing its mobile payments platform for other merchant categories in the future.