Only a few days after getting permission to outfit 30 New York City cabs with its mobile payment service, Square says it will be installing its system in taxis within the next few weeks. Square's iPads, encased in a matte black case, will let passengers swipe a credit card at any point in the ride and receive a receipt by email or SMS, instead of paying by card at the end of the trip and receiving a paper receipt. They'll also let users view map and fare information, replacing the annoying loop of entertainment news that currently plays on New York cab TVs.
Drivers will be given an iPhone for adding tolls and messaging dispatch, The New York Times reports. Each taxi driver will pay $350 for the system, which includes installation, devices, and service; Square will also collect a percentage of credit transactions. Besides testing passenger and driver response to Square payments, the pilot program will collect information on repair costs, transaction fees, and service outages. After the program ends in early 2013, the system will be removed while the NYC Taxi and Limousine Commission determines whether Square's service should be expanded to more vehicles. Although Square says that taxi drivers around the US are some of the company's "most loyal customers," NYC's regulations mean that "the traditional Square set-up wasn’t possible there." Instead, Square has been in close cooperation with the Commission throughout development.