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Old 20.05.2015, 21:35
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Taxi drivers reluctant to take credit card...

I take taxi in Lausanne from time to time for work pusposes, and I always try to pay by (company) credit card, because it is simpler than paying by my money and then go through the paperwork for reimbursement.

I noticed that some taxi simply do not have the machine for credit card payment, and some other drivers are reluctant (e.g. they have the machine for card, and you do not have cash, they still will try to drive you to the closest bankomat to take cash to pay).

Then today I had a conversation with a driver and he told me that, each time the payment is done by a visa/mastercard, 3 francs is taken by the card authority, and for AmericanExpress card, it is 7 francs! So, especially if the trip is short (10-20 francs), if you pay by credit card the driver might just earn nothing. I was surprised by this and understand a little why the drivers are reluctant of card payment.

Do you have the same experience? Is it true what the driver told me? I am surprised because for me it is not at all reasonable to penalize the taxi driver for the card payment. I'm thinking whether it makes sense if next time I leave some tips each time I pay by credit card like kindof compensation...
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Old 20.05.2015, 21:42
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Re: Taxi drivers reluctant to take credit card...

Uber?
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Old 20.05.2015, 21:46
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Re: Taxi drivers reluctant to take credit card...

Hey, thanks, happyrobbie, for sparing a thought for the taxi driver. Yes, here in Zurich I have been told the same thing. They earn the most if they are paid in cash.

Besides credit cards, all sorts of other pre-paid multi-tickets or staff-discount-cards (from large employers for their staff) or vouchers issued for transporting mobility-impaired people, or for taking schoolchildren home (some schools arrange this instead of a bus)... all these seem to result in the taxi driver's receiving less money.

Some of this is because the bulk buyer has arranged a discount with the taxi company (fair enough) but then the taxi company goes on to force this discount onto the driver, who then earns at the bulk buyer's special discount tarif. Even worse, if the fare is paid with any kind of pre-paid ticket or voucher, the driver then has to send this on to his taxi company, which can take up to two months to process the ticket/voucher and pay him his money. So the driver can earn 10 to 20% less than the metered fare, and receive it one to two months later. Cash, right up front, is 100% of the metered fare, and immediate. Beats any kind of card or voucher any day, even when the taxi driver correctly (according to his registered meter) declares his income.
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Old 20.05.2015, 21:52
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Re: Taxi drivers reluctant to take credit card...

I do not know about the percentages here but there is definitely a charge they have to pay when you use a credit card.
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Old 20.05.2015, 22:09
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Re: Taxi drivers reluctant to take credit card...

The metered fare of my usual trip is around 35-40 francs (from the train station to working place), most of the time I pay this amount.

But, occasionally I ask our secretary to arrange a taxi, and then the tarif between station and working place is fixed to 33 francs. In this case the driver will say there is an arrangement between my company and his taxi company, and will just ignore the metered fair. I wonder in this case the driver also loses kindof income (he's paid 10-20% less and I do not think his company pays him any compensation for him driving people from our company).


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Hey, thanks, happyrobbie, for sparing a thought for the taxi driver. Yes, here in Zurich I have been told the same thing. They earn the most if they are paid in cash.

Besides credit cards, all sorts of other pre-paid multi-tickets or staff-discount-cards (from large employers for their staff) or vouchers issued for transporting mobility-impaired people, or for taking schoolchildren home (some schools arrange this instead of a bus)... all these seem to result in the taxi driver's receiving less money.

Some of this is because the bulk buyer has arranged a discount with the taxi company (fair enough) but then the taxi company goes on to force this discount onto the driver, who then earns at the bulk buyer's special discount tarif. Even worse, if the fare is paid with any kind of pre-paid ticket or voucher, the driver then has to send this on to his taxi company, which can take up to two months to process the ticket/voucher and pay him his money. So the driver can earn 10 to 20% less than the metered fare, and receive it one to two months later. Cash, right up front, is 100% of the metered fare, and immediate. Beats any kind of card or voucher any day, even when the taxi driver correctly (according to his registered meter) declares his income.
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Old 20.05.2015, 22:22
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Re: Taxi drivers reluctant to take credit card...

I do that quite often but I´d need to ask mine how he shares that with his employees (never thought of that).
I just hope he gets his fair share!
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Old 20.05.2015, 22:22
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Re: Taxi drivers reluctant to take credit card...

2 days ago I paid for a taxi 15 CHF...in coins! Though the taxi driver was willing to accept the card, in the end, I gave him coins (and now I have none for the washing machine ) and did not pay with the card because I never used my card before and I didn't know if there will be something on top.
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Old 20.05.2015, 22:25
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Re: Taxi drivers reluctant to take credit card...

Any time you use a card to pay (Maestro, credit or debit card) there is a surcharge the recipient has to pay for the processing. The amount depends on the agreement you have with the card processor (the more you use cards, the less you pay).
Similar to bank transfers, we pay the bank for that but the bank has to pay the central bank for the transfer as well, the amount depending on the tier ranking they have with the central bank.
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Old 20.05.2015, 23:39
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Re: Taxi drivers reluctant to take credit card...

I worked as a taxi driver in my student days.
Cash gives you more flexibility over how much you hand over to the company who owns the taxi at the end of the day
Credit cards are documented
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Old 20.05.2015, 23:47
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Re: Taxi drivers reluctant to take credit card...

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I worked as a taxi driver in my student days.
Cash gives you more flexibility over how much you hand over to the company who owns the taxi at the end of the day
Credit cards are documented
Why? No matter it is paid by cash or credit card, all the fare is recorded in the system (you need to issue the receipt with correct amount), no?

By the way, how is the income of taxi driver determined? I thought they they had a fixed base salary, plus a percentage of the actual fees he collected. Is that right?
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Old 20.05.2015, 23:51
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Re: Taxi drivers reluctant to take credit card...

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Why? No matter it is paid by cash or credit card, all the fare is recorded in the system (you need to issue the receipt with correct amount), no?

By the way, how is the income of taxi driver determined? I thought they they had a fixed base salary, plus a percentage of the actual fees he collected. Is that right?
Every system has loopholes plus you get some passengers who, it is claimed, "ran off without paying"!
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Old 21.05.2015, 00:30
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Re: Taxi drivers reluctant to take credit card...

There are two types of controls: the fare metering system and another, of which I don't know the technical name, just let's call it Joe.

The meter is switched on by the driver when the passenger enters the taxi and the journey has been agreed upon. In Zurich, as the taxi driver switches the meter on, it starts with a basic charge of Fr. 6.00 on the display, which is a kind of "entry fee". Thereafter, the meter clicks up per km driven. There is also an additional fee for any waiting time, e.g. when a customer asks the driver to wait while he goes into a shop to buy something, and then wants to be driven further, by the same driver.

The other system, "Joe", registers the kilometers driven over time. Just like, for example, truck drivers, taxi drivers must take the regulatory breaks before driving again. "Joe" generates the data to prove that a driver did so. Please, someone, tell me the correct name! Thanks.

The data of both systems are accessible to the taxi company (called the "Zentrale") and can be correlated with each other.
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Old 21.05.2015, 10:51
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Re: Taxi drivers reluctant to take credit card...

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"Joe" generates the data to prove that a driver did so. Please, someone, tell me the correct name! Thanks.
Do you mean a Fahrtenschreiber? I'm not sure a Taxi has to have one, though the driver must record when he's on/off duty to prove he didn't work too long and had enough resting time.
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Old 21.05.2015, 11:15
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Re: Taxi drivers reluctant to take credit card...

Back in a past life I worked as a chauffeur out of Heathrow - it was actually a really enjoyable job, getting to meet interesting people (TBL) and learn back routes around London. The company ran a system to pay the drivers, once you knew how the system worked you simply figured out how to take advantage of it.

I was contracted to work earlies (6am to 4pm) - 6 days on and 2 days off. Theoretically you should only post through you were ready for a pickup when at base, at Heathrow (parked) or after dropping off the client. But you never did - you did it about 5mins early. For pickups off the red-eye you'd want a West-end drop off - sending through you were ready early - and get the first pick up out of London. You didn't want to go to Gatwick - ever - and you were desperate for the long trip last thing out. EG 3pm pickup at LHR - to Bristol. You'd be out late and you'd post back you'll do a pickup to get you back - you'd normally get one from Cardiff or Swindon. You'd end up being passenger up for nearly the whole return journey - cream in the overtime and the passenger on board mileage.

I worked hard - long hours, figuring out the system etc, and ended up pulling in around 20% more than the "boring" office job - plus the tips!
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Old 21.05.2015, 11:28
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Re: Taxi drivers reluctant to take credit card...

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Do you have the same experience? Is it true what the driver told me? I am surprised because for me it is not at all reasonable to penalize the taxi driver for the card payment.
The drivers are not penalized for a card payment - they are paying the credit card companies a fee for using a service offered by them. Nobody is forced to accept credit cards... it is a choice.

I am not sure how you thought credit cards work but simply put: Every shop or cafe pays Amex/Visa/Mastercard for every single transaction. Usually in the lower one digit percentage between 3-5% of the total.

Amex is notorious for being the most expensive one. I am an avid user of their card as it gives me the best benefits... at the costs of the merchants. Merchants are not allowed to charge extra for the CC usage, otherwise it would be nice and transparent. So here you go: a company that accepts credit cards of course calculates the average fees when they come up with their prices. If anyone in this system is penalized is it not the taxi drivers, but the people who pay cash and unknowingly cover for the fees of the credit card users...
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