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App-y ending for taxi customers thanks to Norwich entrepreneur

PUBLISHED: 09:00 17 September 2014

Paul Walker of ABC Taxis (left) with Steffan Aquarone, the chief executive of Droplet. Picture submitted

Paul Walker of ABC Taxis (left) with Steffan Aquarone, the chief executive of Droplet. Picture submitted

Archant

The region’s largest taxi firm has introduced technology that means customers never need find themselves embarrassed by a lack of change.

The Droplet app, developed by Norwich entrepreneur Steffan Aquarone to allow people to send payments to anyone from their phone in a couple of taps, has been taken up by ABC Taxis as an easy way of paying any of its 160 drivers.

Using state-of-the-art technology, people open the Droplet app and choose who to pay from the list of places nearby. Payment comes through instantly so ABC drivers can see the notification on their own phone for reassurance the correct amount has been sent.

Simon Callender, of ABC Taxis, said “I read in the EDP that lots of shops in the Lanes were taking Droplet, and it sounded like a no-brainer for us. People particularly like the fact they don’t have to pay any additional charges - unlike the 10pc that cards often cost on top of the fare.

“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 Norwich.”

To coincide with the launch ABC will be out in force at the UEA Freshers’ Fair where Droplet will also be giving out free money vouchers to encourage new students to download the app.

Mr Aquarone said Droplet’s systems benefited from military grade security so customers could rest assured that paying with their phones was safe. It also improved safety by reducing the need to carry cash.

He said: “It makes the whole thing more seamless. You don’t need to think about getting cash out or having the right change - people can even top up their accounts from within the safety of the taxi, so they needn’t worry about having the right amount for the fare.

“Norfolk is now the fastest-growing city for mobile payments in the UK. More than 40 businesses in the Norwich Lanes already take payments with Droplet including The Birdcage Pub, Grosvenor Fish Bar and Strangers Coffee, and Droplet is exploring opportunities with larger businesses and the city council. The ABC Taxis partnership means more than 1,000 places will have joined Droplet in just three months.”

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