Taking online payment for a pre-booked taxi journey is a feature of TaxiMap. Customers making bookings are offered the choice of making payments by cash, account, or credit/debit card online through a 3rd party payment processor such as Paypal, Stripe or Sage Pay….
Understanding credit card payments online
Before we discuss how TaxiMap will process payments for you it’s important you have a basic understanding of what’s involved with processing credit and debit card payments online. (This isn’t a definitive guide – just an overview…)
To begin with there are usually 3 parties involved:
- You (the merchant)
- An acquiring bank (where your money ends up)
- A gateway (a means of connecting you securely to the bank)
The process of taking a payment will usually look like this:
- Customer chooses to make a payment for goods or services on your site.
- Your site collects information about the customer and sends it (securely) to the payment gateway
- The gateway processes credit/debit card information making sure the card number is valid and all details match up (to prevent – or at least reduce – fraud)
- The payment funds are deposited in to you bank account (usually less fees charges by the bank and/or gateway depending on your deal with them)
Now, this is probably an over simplification, but it gives you the broad strokes. It’s actually pretty similar to the way chip & pin machines work in retail only the customer interface is different and there are more security concerns. Usually we are not so concerned with the way the gateway interacts with the bank, so we’re going to look at how you interact with the gateway and what you need for that.
So you want to process credit cards for taxi jobs?
Really, you have 2 options (in the UK, at least):
Option 1 requires you have an online merchant number issued by your bank. They will usually make a charge for this – up to £500. Then you will need to appoint a payment gateway – such as Sage Pay (formerly ProtX) or Secure Hosting – who will charge you a monthly fee (approx. £20) or a fee per transaction (up to 12%). Your bank may also charge a fee per transaction in addition to the set up fee for the merchant number.
After all this is set up you need to set up your website to securely send customer details to the gateway for processing. There are some options here dependent on how transparent you want the process to be. For example, you can just forward the customer on to SagePay, but the design of the site will be different to your own. Or, you can fully integrate the gateway into your website so the customer never feels they have left your site, but this will require additional security on your site.
Options 2 is sometimes known as a ‘bureau‘ service. Here you use someone else’s merchant number and they do the processing for you. Paypal and Stripe are examples of such services. A small percentage (up to 4%) and a flat fee (up to 20p) is usually charged per transaction and funds are held by the provider until you withdraw them to your bank account (or, in some cases, use them to make payments for other goods and services yourself).
Sign up is usually free so they’re a great means of getting going – to test the water so to speak. You will still need to integrate them with your website and your customer will always need to be forwarded on – so the customer experience will not be seamless. Even-so, taking payments through Paypal is common-place these days and many people will be familiar with the process.
How TaxiMap will process credit/debit card payments for you
So you’re in control we’ve chosen to integrate Paypal with Taximap (as per Option 2 above) so you can take payments with the minimum of fuss. We’ll process payments for your bookings through your PayPal account. The TaxiMap member’s area will allow you to specify your PayPal ID and we’ll take care of the rest…. (If you need a Paypal account you can sign up here)
However, whilst it might be nice to have fully paid for bookings just drop in to your InBox, we think the process has to be slightly more involved….. For example, we won’t know if there’s a vehicle available at the requested time or if the estimated price accounts for traffic or other factors only you are aware of.
So, the process would look like this:
- Customer requests booking on Taximap
- Taxi company checks and sends out confirmation (via email or SMS)
- Customer makes payment via Paypal (if they have selected credit card as payment method)
The confirmation messages will give full instructions and links to make a payment. Once a payment is completed the booking on TaxiMap will be flagged as PAID and a Paypal notification will be emailed directly to you.
When can I start?
Payment processing is in development and you can already enter your Paypal ID. Once we’re ready to go the system will automatically kick in and you’ll start to receive payments. We hope this will be completed in the coming weeks!