In 2016 TFL released a statement announcing that London Black Cabs were required to take card and contactless payments. This was in no way a revolutionary announcement as many Black Cabbies had been accepting card payments for years, but cash was always king. Today, all taxis in London must carry a card payment device which has ended uncertainty for customers about how they will be pay.
Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: `I’m delighted to announce that… everyone using our iconic black cabs will be able to pay by card, making their journeys quicker and more convenient. While many black cab drivers already provide the service, it’s important that Londoners know for certain that they won’t have to run to the cash machine before they start their journey. Our black cabs provide a unique and invaluable service for Londoners and guaranteed card payment will be good for our black cab industry, and good for passengers across London.’
This is all well and good from Mr Khan, however what about the rest of England? Just last week, it was made aware that some drivers of COLTA (City of Oxford Licensed Taxicab Association) were still not accepting card payments. This is a huge problem for the ever-changing UK taxi industry! People never tend to deal with cash anymore, especially the Millennial’s. Customers in Oxford have since accused said drivers of ‘tax avoidance’… This is obviously a sweeping statement, but it is important to realise and understand that cash is no longer king. The movement of money is more traceable than it has ever been, therefore your financial behaviour is more traceable. The arrival of the ride-finding apps has completely changed the game. Ride apps are all about convenience, and while you can often choose between a variety of payment methods, it is much more straightforward to set up a payment method and pay directly with your credit card or Paypal account – no cash involved.
Black Cabbies must conform to the changes of modern society. By accepting that we are drawing closer to a cashless society, it may become easier to transition to the digitisation of our tax system known as MTD. Here at Drivertax, we are part of the MTD pilot, meaning that as a company we will be ready to embrace the future tax system in the UK. Will you be ready?