Since March I’ve hoped to hail one of the few NYC taxis piloting Square’s payment system accessed via iPads encased in metal sleeves. Only around 30 taxis have replaced their noisy backseat TVs with these devices so I’ve yet to find one. However, I did recently discover one taxi driver using Square for “unauthorized” purposes.
Upon arriving at my apartment from JFK airport my driver pulled out a mobile phone with connected Square device and immediately passed it back to me in order to submit payment. As I added my tip and unsuccessfully swiped my credit card I noticed the background picture on his iPhone was of him and presumably his wife. I now realized this was his personal device and was also flattered he trusted me not to run off with his 3GS.
He asked for the phone back and my credit card to which he swiped successfully while commenting the system, “saved him a ton on fees” (not sure if he was referring to credit card or Taxi & Limousine Commission fees). As he drove away I viewed the email receipt on my phone. I was surprised to find the driver’s full name and home address attached to the receipt (you can see it blurred out above). Not smart.
Conversely, a few days later I snapped these photos while in the back of the smartest (and most thoughtful) NYC taxi driver’s cab. It made my night.