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?

Apple Pay Now Live In The UK

You may have noticed that in the UK contactless payment is becoming a large thing, with many shops now allowing you to use the system to pay for items if their value is under a set amount (normally around £20). This means that in order to pay for your sandwich at lunch all you need to do is hold your card against the card readers top and after the lights are all green you’ve paid for your food without a single button press. Apple’s answer to this system has just been released live in the UK, ingeniously named Apple Pay.

Apple Pay uses not only your card but also your iPhone or Apple Watch (iPhone 6 or 6 Plus required). This means that after you’ve linked your credit/debit card to your apple account all you need to do is tap your phone against the card reader and provide it with your thumbprint. This gets over one of the biggest worries, in that the near field communication (NFC) used by contactless payments doesn’t require any verification, that is that you don’t need to confirm your identity when you use it. This means as long as all I buy is something to drink and some food that comes in under £20, there is nothing stopping me from using another contactless card. Apple Pay uses your thumbprint to confirm your identity and that you have the permission to use the card you’ve selected to pay for the items.

The system has also been taken up by other companies alongside retailers, Transport for London has stated that you can use the system of readers already installed for Oyster card readers to pay for your bus, tube or train tickets. Argos, Dominoes, Just Eat and even British Airways have also said you will be able to use Apple Pay within their apps.

With a rise to £30 for contactless  payments in September, more and more people are being drawn towards using this system as a way of shopping every day. The extra security provided by Apple Pay can’t hurt, it barely adds any time to the experience and keeps your cards safe, just hope you don’t run out of battery while shopping.

Thank you Engadget for the information.

Image courtesy of Buisness Insider.

Surface Charging Move Over – Wireless Charging Now Possible!

Wireless charging is a big selling point for a lot of devices. The ability to just place your phone or laptop down on a pad and charge without having to plug in your cable is an appealing one. The problem with this approach is it’s not truly wireless. After all the pad has a cable running from the socket and then you have to place your device on the pad and leave it there while it charges. A team from Korea hope to swap surface charging for a truly wireless experience.

A team from Korea’s Advanced Institute for Science and Technology (KAIST) have created a system where you can charge a device wirelessly. Comparing the system to WiFi the “Wi-Power” system is said to be able to power devices up to half a metre away and in any direction from the main device. The system uses two coils, the first of which (the transmitting coil) can send power to a variety of devices at the same time while the second coil (the receiving coil) doesn’t even need to be pointed at the transmitter to start charging your devices.

With it being safe around people, KAIST have formed a company to produce the technology commercially. TESLAS Inc will focus on developing the technology for everyday use, so soon you could find your phone charging itself the second you step through your front door, at least once they increase the range.

Thank you GEEK for the information.