Project 400: Boston taxis join The Fightback against Uber/Lyft but more needed to meet passenger demand
What is Project 400?
CabFare launched in Boston 2 weeks ago, with 280 CabFare enabled taxis joining on day 1. BUT before the passenger app is launched we need 400 CabFare enabled taxis in Boston.
To make this possible, we need drivers to apply here:
CabFare is making its technology available to all networks, drivers, and operators FREE of charge
Why did CabFare develop this technology?
CabFare developed this technology to start the first real fightback by taxis against ridesharing. It is the first taxi technology NOT limited to a city or country. Just like Uber is everywhere, CabFare’s technology can be everywhere that taxis sign up.
Will taxis get more work with the CabFare App?
Taxi trips in Boston are down 32% in the past 3 years. We can’t promise anything BUT passenger research indicates that 10% more trips will be taken at night by people currently using Uber/Lyft if CabFare enabled taxis are available - that’s up to 1 Million more taxi trips per year in Boston. This is a great place to start The Fightback.
What is the status in Boston?
The CabFare App and Technology is approved by the Boston PD BUT Payment approval still to come. On March 2 the Boston PD advised all networks and medallion owners “CabFare can be used by the taxi drivers as an app which provides safety & security [with the CabFare equipment].” BUT allowing passengers to pay their fare using the CabFare App is still to be approved.
While we wait for this to come through, NOW is the time to enroll as many Boston taxis as possible so passengers get the full experience at launch.
What is the status in Cambridge?
The CabFare App and Technology is approved by the City of Cambridge MA. The City of Cambridge has approved the CabFare app for use in the City INCLUDING payments, so The Fightback has commenced in Cambridge.
On Monday 12 September 2016 Arthur Argyropoulos, the CabFare CEO, unveiled the CabFare technology in a presentation at PayThink Conference 2016 in New Orleans. The technology, patented and developed by CabFare’s parent company, Parousia Investments offers a innovative new use of Beacon technology for payments, in particular reducing the friction faced in many retail environments.
Senior executives from the payment and banking industry attended this annual conference including representatives from Samsung Pay, Android Pay, Bank of America, Amazon, PayPal, Facebook and Verifone. PayThink showcases the state of the art payment technology and issues confronting payments in the USA.
Arthur told the PayThink attendees “Beacons are key to changing purchaser payment behaviour and provide a platform for sellers to enrich and engage with customers. They make connected commerce a reality today”
NOW Accepting Apple Pay from 19 November 2015 and China UnionPay in Taxis and Limousines Throughout Australia in November 2016
State Regulators and commentators see the emergence of Uber and other “Booking Apps” as some sort of miracle delivered by forces outside the taxi establishment. A common question the media and the general public ask is ‘why has it taken companies outside the Taxi Industry to come up with innovations that deliver efficient at demand transport like ride sharing apps, such as UberX?’
This is a fair question as Regulators view that technological change will deliver a safer and more secure taxi experience for passengers. The main problem though is the Regulators are powerless to deliver it.
So why is innovation slow and difficult in taxis in Australia?
The NSW Taxi Council has generated a flurry of press activity by questioning the validity of UberX drivers relying on a private vehicle insurance policy with NRMA . The Taxi Council was incensed that the NRMA was condoning illegal acts and that therefore the insurance policies were void.
Uber has been seeking to defend the status of its drivers as “contractors” and not employees in US Courts. The issue hasn’t been tested in Australia and the Taxi Industry has been strangely quiet on this issue. This is understandable given its reliance on the quaint concept of “bailee’ arrangements they have been able to hide behind for many years. Taxi regulators sanction “bailee” arrangements and it seems to be the only area of accord between illegal ride sharing services and taxi operators.
Last week, the tech and financial worlds were rocked by their ‘amazing’ discovery that Uber wasn’t profitable despite it being the “business of the future”, “employer of the future” and the way, the truth and the light for economists. Even John Fraser, Secretary to the Treasury, has signed on to this view.
The comment from an Uber spokesperson was that this was “business 101”.
The Australian Treasurer Joe Hockey endorses Uber and AirBnB while at the same time his Government announced a raft of measures to crack down on internet movie and music piracy. This major policy disconnect is one which the Treasurer and his advisers clearly have not thought through.
Some Regulators, financial journalists, and analysts believe that Taxi Booking Apps are disruptive technologies, have empowered passengers and drivers and have dramatically changed the patterns of supply at peak periods subverting the taxi networks. They say that Taxi Booking Apps are the way of the future. But is this necessarily so and will such apps survive in the long term?
APCA has published the Statistics for Card Fraud perpetrated on Australians in FY14. It reports an alarming growth in Card Not Present transaction fraud that represents 72% of total card fraud of Australian Cards in 2013 and has increased over 200% since 2008. In 2013, card-not-present fraud on Australian cards increased by 20% on the previous year to $220 million.
This alarming trend will grow as more cardholders hand over their card details to more and more merchants with lax security protocols and operate outside the banking system.
Industry measures to reduce the opportunities for such breaches, particularly through the implementation of Payment Card Industry – Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS) at merchants and service providers, are having a good effect. However, the challenge remains to encourage uptake of these standards by every organisation that handles card data.
CabFare with our acquiring bank Tyro Moneyswitch Ltd is the only taxi and limousine mobile payment provider that is PCI-DSS compliant which means that Taxi and Limousine Operators and Drivers can be assured all transactions are paid to them avoiding defrauded credit card transactions.
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