Seoul taxis to accept QR code payments
PASSENGERS in Seoul will be able to pay for a taxi by scanning a QR code from a mobile app, starting in January.
The Seoul City government said it would put standards in place for “taxi QR code contactless payment,” which will be an option in some 70,000 taxis.
While offline payments in Korea typically use a “static QR code” method, a “dynamic QR code” method will be used for Seoul taxis.
With the “dynamic” method, QR codes can be created in real time to reflect fares based on travel distance or the duration of the trip.
Because the QR code contains information such as the taxi’s licence plate number, passengers can identify the taxis that they took by looking at their payment histories.
For the convenience of Chinese tourists, Seoul City invited Chinese QR code-based mobile payment platform Alipay to take part in the new taxi payment system.
“The Chinese, who account for over 30 per cent of foreign visitors to Seoul, had to use cash because they aren’t used to the credit card payment system (on taxis) here,” a city official said.
“Using the dynamic QR code system, instead of the static QR code system in which the taxi driver has to manually enter the fares, would not only make it more convenient for visitors but also prevent overcharging.”
The city government plans to use various QR code contactless payment services in taxis through consultations with other mobile service providers as well.
Inconvenience when using taxis was the second-most-common complaint that foreign visitors lodged with the Korea Tourism Organisation in 2017, after inconvenience when shopping. Taxis were the subject of 13.3 per cent of the complaints, and shopping 28 per cent.
Of the complaints concerning taxis, being overcharged (46.5 per cent) was the most common. Of all the visitors who said being overcharged for taxis was their topmost inconvenience, two out of five were citizens of China or Taiwan.
“The use of dynamic QR code systems on taxis has been introduced in only a handful cities such as New York,” said Goh Hong-seok, chief of Seoul City’s urban transport division.