London Cabs Set To Allow Contact-less Payments By 2017

So there you are, having been busy rushing around London doing your shopping and decide you want to quickly grab a taxi back home, only to find you won’t be able to because you don’t have any cash on your person. It happens and normally the alternative for people these days is either to walk it or use alternative transport such as Uber. With the app based service looking to only grow and grow, not taking in mobile and card payments has limited London’s cabs. This could be set to change though as soon as mid-2017.

Transport for London (TFL) and Mayor Boris Johnson have agreed to move proposals for the scheme that would see all taxi’s requiring the capability to accept card payments, including contactless. This chance could be seen as soon as October 2016, just in time for next year’s Christmas rush, a welcome change I bet for the 86% of the people who responded to a consultation saying that they wanted cards accepted.

TFL have agreed to bring down the cost of transactions charges from 10% to around 3%, this meaning that you won’t be charged extra (after the additional 20p increase that’s set to come in earlier in the year).

With services like Uber and other forms of public transport already taking card and contactless payments, is it about time that Taxi’s joined the fold?

Uber Wants to Put You in the Driver Seat with Its New Game

Have you ever wondered how to increase your sales and promote your service? Uber might have the right answer to it and yes, it is a game! The popular transport company now has a driving game called UberDrive available on the Apple AppStore that puts you in the driver’s seat of their cabs.

Uber wants to promote its service and get its clients more engaged with the company’s driver-partners that ever before. The UberDrive title lets you experience their daily life as one of their independent cab drivers in a fun and rewarding way.

According to Uber’s Newsroom article, players need to help riders reach their destination as quickly and safely as possible. However, the game is not designed as monotonous as it sounds.

Players will be able to earn achievements and unlock parts of the city as the progress through the game. Score points will also unlock various cars and new areas, while activities such as identifying landmarks and tapping on intersection points will increase your score.

In addition to the above, Uber added some educational elements such as fun facts about landmarks and a trivia mode where riders can quiz players to get destination points on the map.

Uber has launched the UberDrive worldwide with only San Francisco as a playable map. However, Uber stated that San Fancisco is the “initial” map, indicating that more areas are likely to come in the future. For now, users can download the game from here.

Germany to Get a Legal Uber Taxi Service Soon

Earlier this month a German court banned Uber from operating while using unlicensed cab drivers and set stiff fines for any violations of local transportation laws to reinforce the decision. The company’s German chief told the magazine Wirtschafts Woche (WiWo) that it is planning a new service that will fall in line with the law.

Uber will launch the new service by this summer, and under it, Uber drivers will hold commercial passenger transport licenses. The cost of the licenses will be paid for by Uber which will be between 100-200 euros, as stated by Uber’s Faben Nestman. Faben also said “We will also pay the 150 to 200 euros it would cost our partners to have the Chamber of Commerce license them as taxi companies.”

There is no word on if the new service will have a different name, though as of now it looks like it will UberX so as to fall in line with the company’s naming scheme.

Source: Reuters

Uber Launches Business Feature, Lets Companies Pay for Your Business Travels

Uber, the app that lets you hail a cab from your smartphone, has announced the addition of a new Business feature aimed at employees who are travelling on business trips a lot.

The app is said to now allow companies pay for their employees’ travel expenses by adding the option to pay with a company card, instead of having them pay for the trip and expense it on their own.

Employees whose company uses Uber are said to already have noticed a second payment option inside the app, allowing them to quickly switch between the personal and business payments on the fly. Uber is also said to be teaming up with Concur, the expensing service, to automatically file receipts for those who use the service.

The Uber for Business feature is said to work best for small companies, since the app requires each employee to be added to an account manually. However, Uber has stated that it will add a feature this summer which will help activate business expensing company-wide.

It is said that various analytic features are included in the app in order to help companies see how many trips are being taken and how much they are spending, as well as allowing companies view the information for each employee’s individual trip.

Thank you The Verge for providing us with this information

Huawei Reported To Be Selling High-End Smartphones Via Messaging App

The increased competition of smartphone manufacturers in China has apparently resulted in companies approaching unique marketing techniques. For example, Xiaomi is said to have success with its ‘Hunger Marketing’ technique, having customers pre-register their interest in a handset in order to grab the e-mail addresses of potential buyers. As soon as the particular handset hits the spotlight, a limited number is manufactured and sold. This is how the company recently sold an estimated 10,000 Xiaomi Redmi Note phablets in less than a second.

Networking and telecom manufacturer Huawei apparently has its own tactics. Sources indicate that the company is apparently using popular messaging application WeChat as a channel to sell its Huawei Honor 6 handset. The device is said to boast an Octa-Core processor, a 5-inch display with a resolution of 1080 x 1920, as well as a 13 MP back camera and 5MP front camera.

The company previously used only local carriers to sell its handsets, but due to the increased competition, it is hoping to widen the distribution of its products using the WeChat app. The application, which is said to be in partnership with Chinese e-commerce company JD, has apparently hosted a competition in which the lucky winner was awarded with a Huawei Honor 6. The rules appeared to have been simple as well, having competitors guess the price of the handset in question. The winner would have had to answer ¥1999 / $322, the actual price of the Huawei Honor 6 handset.

Huawei is said to have 8% of the Chinese market, placing it on the 6th position in the country. This is due to change in the future, providing that the partnership between the company and WeChat app is successful. WeChat is said to have over 400 million users, having it be used as a text and voice messaging app, a gaming app and even a cab hailing app. Reports show that an update last year has even added a payment system, something which Huawei is attempting to exploit. Also, Huawei might have been the first to use this type of marketing camping, but it most certainly will not be the last.

Thank you Phonearena for providing us with this information