Radio-equipped Visa card lets you pay your cab fare with a wave

Visa PayWave allows you to pay for your cab ride with a wave of your card.

June 13, 2007 For all the convenience of not carrying cash around, credit cards can still be a fairly cumbersome way to pay, particularly for small purcahses. Visa's PayWave system cuts the signature out of the process for transactions under $25; you simply wave your card at a sensor, wait for the green light and go. The system already has about 31,000 implementations in the United States and is now rolling out into New York taxicabs, where it will speed up the payment process.

Visa recently announced that its PayWave system is being rolled out for the benefit of New York taxi passengers. The initiative, which started in June 2007, will equip thousands of New York taxicabs with contactless payment readers located in the back of the taxi, enabling passengers to simply pay with a wave of their card.

Visa payWave is a new technology feature found on a growing number of Visa cards worldwide. It uses radio-frequency technology to send payment information rapidly and securely over an extremely short distance to the point of sale terminal. All other aspects of the contactless transaction are handled in the same way as a traditional Visa payment transaction. “There is no city that hustles like New York and Visa is helping to add a bit of speed and convenience to the preferred mode of transportation for thousands of visitors and locals,” said Brian Triplett, Senior Vice President of Emerging Product Development at Visa USA. “We’re excited to offer New York taxi passengers not only an alternative to cash, but a technology that will get them to where they’re going faster and more efficiently.”

New York taxis equipped with the new readers are able to accept both Visa payWave transactions as well as traditional “swipe” transactions. Passengers are able to include a tip to the price of the fare, and no signature is required for transactions under $25. Visa research shows that increasingly consumers want to use a payment card for purchases under $25 for convenience (73 percent), efficiency (44 percent) and speed (39 percent).

The PayWave initiative is soon to be supported with a major advertising campaign.

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