In a market with a handful of almost-identical products, Rocket Internet’s Payleven has upped its efforts to stand out from the crowd by taking on another cutthroat space, taxi apps. The Berlin-based startup offers a card reader and app to enable easy mobile payments, similar to US company Square and, closer to home, Sumup.
And now it has announced a partnership with the Taxiverband Berlin to help solve the problem of cashless cab journeys. Using the Payleven system will cut out the need for having cash when catching a ride. But it doesn’t mean the end of taxi apps just yet, however, without functionalities like finding nearby drivers – but it will allow for an increased number of cashless journeys.
It isn’t the first solution to the problem. In July, Hamburg-based myTaxi launched a direct smartphone billing process from driver to customer, with neither cash nor card involved. After a confirmation and inputting the PIN, payment occurs from device to device within seconds.
Payleven, however, offers more scope for the use of its solution, despite the additional card reader required. The swipe edition works with EC Cards, Diners Club, and MasterCard, but by registering for a chip & PIN device Payleven can accept all other major European credit cards. Customers pay 2.75 per cent per transaction — with no minimum revenue or monthly fees. Payments from €1 are accepted.
Yet London and Berlin-based PayLeven hope to have gotten a nose in front here, and – perhaps unusually for a Rocket company – claims to have broken new technological ground with the PIN design. It was also on iOS first before other platforms, while iZettle has experienced problems with Visa cards, meaning users must put in their phone number into the iZettle app, then, through a link in a SMS, must fill out a form with their card details. It’s also limited to the UK and the Nordic countries.
Payleven, on the other hand, is available in the UK, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, Italy and Brazil. Founder and CMO Konstantin Wolff said: “Traditional solutions for accepting card payments are often expensive and neither mobile nor adapted to the pursuits of many businesspeople. Taxi drivers especially know these problems.”