The approved pilot program will involve 30 NYC taxicabs (the city has a total of 13,237 taxis) and will run for one whole year. The taxis under the program will be installed with iPads in the backseat, replacing the Creative Mobile and Verifone Taxi TVs. Aside from the iPad, the drivers will also access an iPhone that is installed within their easy reach. The iPhone will help in processing credit cards, looking at traffic data and other types of information.
The initial proposal Square made was for 50 taxis and never mentioned the installation of iPads to replace the Taxi TVs. The iPads will be used for swiping credit cards but passengers can still use the iPad’s other functions – meaning they can use the iPad as is – accessing apps and games and location tracking.
The Square Mobile Payment system is a brainchild of Square. The company has created a stir because it has given away credit card readers that can be attached to smartphones. The company boasts of processing almost $2 billion a year in credit card transactions. It also claims to have 8.2 million merchants using its service, with majority of them not accepting credit cards before.
Some have said that Square could help revolutionize credit card transactions and its pilot program in New York City is a firm step towards further expanding its reach. Square said that taxis in Baltimore, Portland, Orlando and San Francisco are already using the same system.