18. July 2012–
Hamburg-based myTaxi yesterday released the first direct mobile payment service for taxis in Germany and this viral video of a naked man trying to make purchases with nothing but a smartphone.
MyTaxi, released by Sven Külper and Niclaus Mewes (via Intelligent Apps GmbH - founded June 2009), already offers a taxi-ordering app. The company secured €10 million in growth funding from car2go, a subsidiary of carmaker Daimler, and XING and Hackfwd founder Lars Hinrichs back in April.
The new myTaxi payment service completes the process - users can now find, book, track and pay the driver directly using nothing but the smartphone app (previous solutions have required additional NFC solutions, QR codes or "dongles").
Users create an account, register a PayPal account or credit card, can choose to add a tip and receive a receipt after payment. Drivers pay a 3.9 per cent commission plus a 21 cent transaction fee.
It's early days for the payment app, so far only available on iOS, but the rest seems to be running smoothly. The myTaxi app is now available in 30 German cities as well as Vienna, Zurich and Barcelona, and runs on iOS, Android and Windows7. In Germany, it claims 50,000 registered taxis and that one in five taxi drivers are using the app.
Being able to pay directly with mobile is a landmark in Germany but the real disruption is that myTaxi - like Hailo and Uber - offers a peer-to-peer connection between passengers and drivers, which cuts out conventional taxi dispatch services. Clearly, some of the conventional services are worried - The Next Web reported late last year that at least one Vienna taxi driver was sacked for using myTaxi to pick up extra jobs.
Intelligent Apps' other backers include Deutsche Telekom investment arm T-Ventures, KfW Bankengruppe and investment company e42.