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Wednesday, 01 April 2015 10:37

Contactless payments for Kaş and Kalkan cabs

Technology Technology

In 2014 a group of Turkish banks, Turkcell and Visa International joined forces to take forward the development of contactless payment solutions in Turkey.

It's the kind of technology many people will be familiar with in the UK, where you can use either a contactless plastic card or even your smart phone to pay for low value goods and services.

This technology is here in Turkey too, and small scale trials are often used to test out the latest functionality.  The above project group has chosen Kaş and Kalkan for one such trial, starting later this month.

The familiar yellow taxis in Kaş and Kalkan are trying out two new contactless payment devices - one will be used for contactless cards, and the other will take payments from smart phones.

Foreigners can take part in the trials
The good news for visitors to Kaş and Kalkan is that the systems are compatible with any bank card - Turkish or foreign.  Just as you can use your UK cards in Turkish bank ATMs, so you will be able to wave your card across the terminals in the taxis. 

For smart phones the system does not work for every mobile operator, but all Turkish SIM cards work, as do UK SIM cards from EE and Vodafone.

The contactless terminal for cards is somewhat larger than the one for smart phones, and will be immediately obvious on the dashboard of the taxi.  See image below.

Contactless technology

Interestingly, the terminal for contactless smart phone payments is a new type of micro-reader, which has been specifically designed for the Turkish market. 

It resembles the familiar blue, glass Nazar (often referred to as the "Turkish Eye" or Eye Bead"), that you see hanging just about everywhere.  All you do is hold your smart phone within a few centimetres of the "Turkish Eye" to make your payment.  See image below.

Contactless technology

Transaction limit
There is a transaction limit of 50 Turkish lira - about £13, but that should be more than enough to pay for most local taxi journeys.  Anything above that and you will have to pay cash in the usual way.

The head of the local taxi co-operative, Şaka Mabu told KTLN that his members are honoured to be asked to take part in this trial.  He told us, "It makes sense to try these things out in smaller towns before making it available to everyone".

"We know our customers well.  Most visitors have the latest technology and we think they will appreciate having this choice for paying for their journey.  It's also safer than carrying money".

The trial period continues until the end of September 2015.  If you are using a cab in Kaş or Kalkan this season you may want to ditch the dosh, and flash your iPhone instead.



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