As Smart Meters Go In, VeriFone Is Out as PSP

Picture courtesy of VeriFone

Picture courtesy of VeriFone

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One of the largest Payment Service Providers has backed out as a PSP, as the deadline for installation of credit card readers in all District cabs fast approaches.

“That would be a decision that VeriFone itself would make. No action has been taken here that would have disqualified them,” said Ron Linton, chairman of the D.C. Taxicab Commission. “We understand that in several of the companies which they were negotiating with… they want the company to be the Payment Service Provider and they will be a vendor to the company,” Linton told TheFightBack during an extended interview.

VeriFone was originally selected as the sole vendor for the District’s $35 million smart meter contract last year. But that contract was overturned by the Contract Appeals Board because of serious irregularities in the procurement process. After the contract fell through, VeriFone turned around and sued D.C. for $18.5 million.

Despite VeriFone’s withdrawal as a PSP, the Commission’s mandate for installation of credit card readers in all District cabs remains unchanged: Sept. 1, or Sept. 30 if granted a limited extension. Of D.C.’s 6,500 taxis, 4,200 applied for the extension. (The deadline for requesting the extension was Aug. 15.)

More than 500 cabbies signed a petition asking the Commission for an additional thirty-day extension. “Right now,” the petition reads, “there is confusion surrounding the different PSPs’ pricing structure and we are having a difficult time choosing which equipment and service is best for us. Some drivers have had very bad experiences when the meters were installed.”

Responding to the petition, Linton said, “I can only draw the conclusion that [those] 525 simply lack the capacity to do their job.”

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