PITTSBURGH, PA — Customers using People's Cab now have an added convenience available to them thanks to the latest technology from Bell Atlantic Mobile. Cab fares can now be paid by credit card, since People's Cab has begun using wireless point-of-sale terminals to obtain credit authorizations.
"Most business travelers and many others prefer to pay their fares by credit card," explained Mayvis Baumann, general manager for People's Cab. "Until now, we weren't able to accept credit cards because our drivers could not get proper authorization on the road. These wireless point-of-sale units not only make that step possible, they make it easy and provide an immediate receipt for the customer."
Baumann worked with Bell Atlantic Mobile and ECS, an independent service organization for credit card services, to equip the company's entire fleet with the wireless point-of-sale units and to train drivers to use them. The wireless units enable the user to access data without the need for a conventional wired phone line.
"This technology puts us on a level playing field with our competitors," Baumann said. "Our drivers look for the business traveler, and often being able to accept a credit card makes the difference in being able to pick up a particular fare. We also serve a large student population on the campuses in Oakland. Students can have unscheduled trips and may not have cash, so being able to use a credit card is important to them."
Bell Atlantic Mobile offers wireless point-of-sale technology to transportation companies like People's Cab as well as to vendors that need to authorize credit card purchases at remote locations such as trade shows, craft festivals or sporting events. This technology is an attractive alternative for fixed-site retailers as well. The cost of a wireless transaction is comparable to one done via a landline connection but there are no line installation costs or monthly landline local access charges.
"Transmitting data wirelessly is now an everyday occurrence that impacts the lives of virtually all consumers," said Jerry Fountain, regional vice president for Bell Atlantic Mobile in Pittsburgh. "Point-of-sale is only one example of how our technology carries data wirelessly. We also work with utility companies to monitor pipelines for safety, vending machine companies to ensure quantities and freshness of products in remote locations, and, of course, business people who use our AirBridge Internet Access for e-mail when they are traveling."
People's Cab began accepting credit cards in mid-December and, according to Baumann, they expect the added convenience will have a positive impact on the firm's overall business.
Anyone seeking additional information about Bell Atlantic Mobile's point-of-sale or other wireless data applications can call 1-800-308-DATA or visit www.bam.com.
Bell Atlantic Mobile is the largest wireless service provider on the East Coast and the second largest in the United States. The company owns and operates the most extensive network in the East, covering 111,000 square miles, and the largest chain of wireless retail outlets offering a full range of wireless personal communications services, including voice, data and paging. Based in Bedminster, NJ, Bell Atlantic Mobile has more than 5 million customers and 7,000 employees in the Northeast, mid-Atlantic, Southeast, and - through a separate subsidiary - the Southwest. Through its "Wireless at Work..." community relations program, which includes HopeLine voice mail service, Bell Atlantic Mobile uses its wireless technology to help individuals and communities improve security and emergency communications.