Credit cards are so interwoven into the fabric of our lives that we don’t even think about them anymore. We go to restaurants, order products online, and pay our bills, just by rattling off a string of numbers. It’s really amazing when you think about the convenience “plastic money” has brought to our lives.
Since my earliest days as a driver with O’Hare-Midway Limousine Service in Chicago, credit cards payments have been accepted in the vehicle. Back then, chauffeurs would use a clipboard and some solid object to imprint credit numbers onto a carbon paper (remember those) slip, rubbing the card through the paper trying to get a good copy of the card numbers for later processing. Today, we use an electronic system in the vehicle to read cards and get immediate approvals. The problem is (and has always been) doing accounting while moving on the roadway is a recipe for disaster. In addition, the mobile electronic options have a sketchy history of reliability.
After much debate, we have decided that the best option for all involved is to stop “swiping” credit cards in our vehicles, effective 1/1/14. Payments will be taken over the phone, and clients can set up their personal profiles with payment information, so all they will need to worry about is enjoying the ride.
We really wanted to make the mobile payment system work, and we spent tens of thousands of dollars on development and refining of the concept. Turns out it just isn’t a good fit for increasingly “stressed out” travelers.
Going forward, OML limo clients will be able to travel to and from locations without being hassled for payment. Convenience is never a bad thing.
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