Vodafone Taxis offer payment by phone [Updated]

May 3, 2011
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Cash-coy Vodafone UK users won't have to worry about paying for taxis any more, as long as they can spot one of the carrier's sponsored cars. A fleet of "hundreds" of Vodafone-branded cabs will take to London's streets from today, offering not only in-car chargers for rejuicing your phone, but the ability to pay for the fare on your handset, just as long as you're a Vodafone customer.

If you're interested, you'll need to pre-register - by calling 0845 680 3409 in the UK - and then payments are made by SMS message. There are no fees involved, at least not for customers, though it'll only work in Vodafone-branded cabs.

The chargers are generic - we're guessing microUSB, perhaps with an adapter for iPhones - so it won't just be Vodafone customers getting the benefit. We'd rather see a fully generic system across all carriers, but this is a start at least.

Update: Apparently the system won't just allow for mobile payments by Vodafone customers, but users of all UK carriers. No word on what fees they may have to pay, however.

Press Release:

Vodafone gets London Calling

Hundreds of branded taxis to get mobile phone chargers, helping Londoners stay in touch
Vodafone customers can pay for their ride with their phone, at no extra charge
All part of Vodafone’s commitment to providing the best service in London

Tuesday 3 May: Vodafone is aiming to keep Londoners connected with a new fleet of branded taxis which for the first time will allow all passengers to recharge their phones on the move. Vodafone customers will also be able to pay for their journeys with their phones – at no extra charge – making those last minute stop-offs at the cash point a thing of the past.
Today, the first of hundreds of Vodafone-branded taxi cabs will take to the streets in one of the biggest ‘wrapping’ advertising campaigns ever seen in the capital. Their bold and colourful Union Jack design, made up of over 2000 London street names, will make them an eye-catching addition to the city as well as easy to spot for anyone who needs to charge up their phone. They will be followed next week by the first of a fleet of Vodafone-branded Heathrow Express trains.
It is all part of Vodafone’s commitment to keeping London calling. In the past few months the mobile phone company has improved the performance of well over 500 of its sites across the city and will continue to invest heavily to ensure it has the best network in the capital. Every month, Vodafone customers in London make more than 160 million calls, send over 155 million texts and download the equivalent of 16 billion emails.

Vodafone UK Chief Executive Guy Laurence said “We are committed to offering London the best possible network. We have already made hundreds of improvements to increase coverage, capacity and reliability to ensure Londoners can always stay in touch with friends and family. Now with our fantastic fleet of Union Jack cabs and their on-board chargers which anyone can use, all Londoners will be able to see our continuing commitment to the capital.”


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