updated 04:45 pm EST, Thu March 1, 2012
Square approved to test payment gear in NYC cabs
Square readers for payments will be used in a few weeks during a testing project in New York City in 30 taxis before becoming more widespread. The test is part of the requirements that need to be met after the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission approved Square's systems in cabs. Once testing is completed, there are plans to deploy the technology in over 13,000 cabs in the city.
VeriFone and Creative Mobile Technologies have a contract for these cabs and more in other large cities across the US. The scheme could involve NYC cabs replacing or supplementing their current touchscreen TVs that play looped content. Users would be able to use the iPads for their own entertainment before using them to pay their cab fare using their credit cards. It's also possible a smartphone can be used to process the payments, perhaps even the driver's own.
Square offers small businesses an easy way to process payments thanks to using cellular networks. Whether the fees end up costing less than what cabs use currently remains to be seen. The Square solution does have the potential to offer riders access to the web if an iPad or another mobile tablet is mounted in the cab. [via AllThingsD]