A new system called 'Q-cash' will be introduced this summer in Abu Dhabi that sees text messages replacing the need for cold hard cash for one leading taxi firm.
The new system will be operational by September, according to Gulf News.
The taxi system in this country has drawn criticism as taxi drivers often don’t return change to customers, thus losing them money.
Forming a Q
To pay a fare, customers open an account by buying a Q-cash card from a petrol station or supermarket, in a similar way to mobile phone pre-pay.
The taxi number and fare is sent as an SMS, and a receipt is printed in the taxi. Users cans also link the Q-cash to their bank accounts, assumedly so they can avoid the hassle of constantly topping up.
TransAD, the Centre for Regulation of Transport by Hire Cars in Abu Dhabi, has said it is considering rolling out the scheme to all taxi companies.
The Q-cash card may also become a method of payment for other services too in the future, according to Dimitrios Ladas, SMS Project Manager of Q-Link taxis.