Last year the Mayor of London announced that plastic card acceptance will be compulsory for all taxi drivers in the city, starting from October 2016. For bitcoin users this will mean that they will be able to pay with a bitcoin plastic card in any London cab.
We reached out to Neal Belcher, a London taxi driver, to find out more about his own experience with bitcoin adoption in the taxi industry, and he kindly agreed to share his views with CoinFox.
Neal said that it was his own initiative to start accepting bitcoin.
“After taking an interest in bitcoin and blockchain technology for the past two years the decision is easy,” he said. His choice was influenced by the assets bitcoin offers to customer service. He is convinced that low transaction costs and the simple way peer to peer payment systems are the best solution for small businesses.
Despite his enthusiasm, Neal has not taken any fares paid in bitcoin yet. This happened for various reasons, he explains. Even though he has a bitcoin app installed on his phone, it is easier for customers to pay the fares through a taxi company app, which does not provide bitcoin payments.
Neal prefers to use a mobile phone app because exchanging bitcoin to fiat currency via a third party costs more.
Answering the question about the role of cryptocurrency for the taxi industry, Neal said that all drivers will certainly start accepting cryptocurrencies in the not-too-distant future. He cited the Transport for London, the governing body for the taxi industry in the capital, and the new law forcing all taxis to accept card payments.
“As the banks move into cryptocurrencies the card machines will be irrelevant,” Neal added.