Birmingham’s Droplet takes to the road with landmark taxi deal

Technology aids passengers and drivers nationwide.

Scrabbling around for loose change in the back of a cab could be a thing of the past thanks to mobile payment app Droplet.

The Birmingham-based tech firm has secured an industry first by signing deals with five taxi firms from across the UK to use its cloud-based technology to allow customers to pay for their journeys from their phones.

ABC, A1 Ace, Blueline, Radio Cabs and Streamline have all pledged their support for this new innovation, which means customers will be able to pay for their fare by using a simple app in around 2200 vehicles across East Anglia, the North East, South of England and the South West.

Using state-of-the-art technology, passengers simply open the Droplet app where the driver’s listing will appear automatically, giving them the ability to see exactly who they are paying. Payment is instant so drivers can easily see the notification on their own phone for reassurance that the correct amount has been sent.

“This is a massive breakthrough for the taxi sector and offers a host of benefits to the firms and their customers,” explained Steffan Aquarone, who founded Droplet with Will Grant in 2011. “The app is fee-free so avoids the fees of up to 10% that drivers who accept cards have to pay; it’s quick to use so more journeys can be completed and the security of drivers will improve as they do not have to carry large amounts of cash with them.”

He continued: “Passengers also don’t have to worry about being caught fiddling around for change or asking the driver to stop at a cash point. With around 2200 taxis now offering this payment option it’s proof that there is a demand for our technology and we are already in discussions with firms in other major UK cities.”

Mike Davis, owner of A1 Ace Taxis in Taunton, has been impressed with the response so far: “Whilst it is early days, we have had a lot of interest from our customers and they particularly like the fact they don’t have to pay any additional charges. It is easy for our drivers and is ideal for replacing cash, so making them feel more secure, especially at night.

“It’s not just security that the drivers are excited about. The drivers have been amazed by the technology and can all see the practical applications. We are recommending the Droplet payment app to other merchants in Taunton and colleagues within the trade. We have already approached our despatch system software supplier to integrate into their system.”

This taxi breakthrough is the latest in a long line of exciting developments for Droplet in 2014.

The team has continued to roll out the app to new cities and currently has hundreds of merchants accepting mobile payments in Birmingham, Bournemouth, Brighton, Edinburgh, Leeds, London, Newcastle and Norwich.