China’s leading ride-hailing company, Didi Chuxing, has announced it will now accept cashless payments in Hong Kong.
Passengers will be able to pay for journeys via Didi’s app using Visa, Mastercard and American express.
This is a big step in Hong Kong, where the issue of cashless payments for taxi drivers has caused contention. As Business Chief reported in December, many taxi drivers prefer to have cash they can use immediately rather than the hassle of dealing with an app. Data protection was also cited as an issue.
The company is offering discounts to drivers and customers over the next three weeks by way of promoting the new system.
According to the South China Morning Post, Didi will be the third ride-hailing platform to accept credit card payments in Hong Kong, “after local companies HK Taxi and SynCab added the feature earlier this year and in 2015, respectively”. The newspaper also added that Didi has put time into training drivers to use the new e-payment system.
Didi has also added to its service with its recent takeover of Kuaidi Taxi, which is reportedly used by 20,000 drivers (almost half of those in Hong Kong, according to Computer World), and has 600,000 registered users. Didi’s general manager for North Asia, Lin Li, said: “Since the beta launch of our digital payment systems in Hong Kong (in March), 40% of taxi ride transactions are settled by credit cards.”