INNOVATE

Taxi Drivers Get Around Card Fees

Small businesses are always thinking about clever ways to save money, and cab drivers are no exception.
Square allows anyone to accept credit card payments anywhere with an iPhone, iPad or Android phone.
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Driving a taxi is a small business and a tough one, especially in San Francisco, where I live. They’ve got a ton of rules and regulations preventing them from making good money, and get this: The city’s bus drivers get paid more than they do! On top of it all, they are probably the last bunch of taxis in a major city to hop on the credit card bandwagon.

So now that almost all cabs in San Francisco take credit cards, they get beaten up even more. In addition to the banks taking their ~3 percent fee, the cab companies take a ~3 percent fee on top of that. It’s no wonder cab drivers don’t want to accept credit cards.

But I saw a pretty smart thing the other day as I was going to pay my cabbie. I gave him my credit card and he asked the person he was talking to on his phone to hold on. He then inserted his Square into the top jack of his phone, swiped my card and asked if I wanted to leave a tip. This way, he only has to pay the bank a 2.75 percent fee. Then he just pays the cab company whatever he rung up on trips, saving him the additional ~3 percent fee that likely would have been taken out of his tip.

Small businesses are always thinking about new ways to save money, and cab drivers are no exception. Are you using clever technology to save you some bucks? Would love to hear about it!

Last updated: Jan 30, 2012




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