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ingogo eases payments with a universal wireless system

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Call it the taxi industry’s last-mile solution that eases the eventual handoff – customers get on their way quickly and cabbies collect their fare without fuss.

The nascent taxi services industry – running nearly everything there is except the driving off an app – has positively transformed transportation in our cities. Now, many are focusing ever more on elevating the paying experience, not to mention making it swifter.

ingogo, one of Australia’s earliest app-based taxi provider, has launched what it claims to be “the world’s first integrated payment platform” inside of a cab. If you ignore the hyperbole, the system – developed in Australia in partnership with ANZ Bank and Ingenco, a leading provider of payment solutions – seems to have all the pieces and recently won the CeBIT Future of Payments Start-Up Pitching Contest.

Take your pick: tap&go, PayWave etc

ingogo’s taxies are fitted with a wireless terminal and passengers can use their own smartphone to run the payment app, rather than use the driver’s phone to complete the payment. The wireless terminal can process major credit and debit cards and is compliant with Europay, MasterCard and Visa (EMV) card security. It can use contactless technology such as tap&go and paywave, EFTPOS chip & PIN, or magstripe, plus virtual wallets.

“Whilst other taxi service providers offer payment terminals, none integrate their payments into an app to interact with a passenger’s taxi booking and record-keeping processes. We now offer both,” said ingogo founder and Managing Director Hamish Petrie.

Nationwide rollout planned over next 12 months

Petrie says ingogo’s system replicates a platform installed by rival Cabcharge but at a fraction of the cost – an estimated $10,000 for each cab spent by Cabcharge. In a pilot program, ingogo installed its terminals on 250 cabs that, over a 30-day trial period, processed over $1 million in payments. ingogo plans to install the terminals across all its cabs over the next 12 months.

“Contactless payments are driving change and innovation across all industries. More than ever, customers want fast and secure payment options and we’re pleased we were able to work with ingogo to develop this new payment app,” said ANZ General Manager for Cards and Payments, Marj Demmer.

ingogo was founded by the team that started Moshtix, the ticketing system that prides on having given Ticketmaster a run for its money. Earlier this year, it roped in Pacific Venture Advisors – run by Australia’s Vikram Mehta but headquartered in Silicon Valley with an office in Sydney – as an investor, raising to $3.7 million its total funding since 2011.

Its early backers include MYOB co-founder Brad Shofer; ArgyStar.com CEO Philip Argy, Nick McNaughton of Capital Angels, Stuart Fox, former managing director of APAC Commodities; the Sydney Angels Sidecar Fund; Daniel Petre and Alison Deans, founders of successful early stage fund NETUS; Martin Dalgleig, advisor to Ellerston Capital and previously director of Seek and Carsales, and other members of Sydney Angels.

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