Part of a taxi-based advertising campaign, Vodafone has setup a system allowing customers from any phone network to pay their taxi fare through text message.
Any passengers in the Vodafone-themed taxis will be able to charge up their phones on their journey too, and taxis are set to pack chargers supporting phones from all the major manufacturers.
Chargers are already being in installed, with the whole Vodafone ‘fleet’ of 500 cars set to be ready by the summer.
Customers will need to register for the text-for-taxis payment system by calling 0845 680 3409. You then text ‘taxi’ followed by your taxi’s number and the amount you want to pay to
31255 80010. (UPDATE: The text number has changed.) The text message charges are free for all Vodafone customers, “as part of a special introductory offer”.
Vodafone UK’s 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.”
This could be Vodafone testing the waters to see if there’s any demand for a NFC (Near Field Communication) style payment option. NFC could allow phone users to pay for goods and services, like taxis, with a swish of their phone.