Beck is squaring up to Uber

Beck Taxi, Canada’s largest taxi firm has announced that it’s releasing a new end-to-end digital dispatch system, which will include an updated version of its mobile app.

The new update, which is available on iOS, Android and Blackberry, allows the application to act like a mobile wallet. The update also represents a new partnership with PayPal.

Customers living in Toronto will now be able to pay for a taxi directly with their mobile device through their PayPal account without waiting for paper receipts or processing payments through a terminal.

‘‘This update offers customers the ability to pay in-app and view wait times, all while providing riders with a quieter trip by cutting down on some of the radio chatter, which we know Beck customers will appreciate,’’ said Kristine Hubbard, operations manager at Beck taxi.

‘‘At PayPal, we are in the driver’s seat for mobile payment innovation in Canada. We’re delighted to team up with Beck Taxi to make it easy for Torontonians to book and pay for cab rides from their phones,’’ commented Alexander Peh, head of mobile and market development at PayPal Canada.

Beck will now be able to rival Uber, who began operating in Toronto in 2012. The taxi giants have a turbulent relationship with the local Government.

Shortly after Uber started functioning in the area, the city of Toronto announced it was seeking a permanent injunction to block all of Uber’s operations, as the taxi company refused to be licensed as a taxi brokerage.

An intervention from John Tory, major of Toronto, forced Uber’s hand into applying for a taxi brokerage licence.

‘‘I won’t have the Wild West — I’ve said that many times before — but I won’t have us stuck in the 1970s either,” Tory said during a speech to the Toronto Region Board of Trade earlier this month.

You would assume that the people behind Uber’s operations in Canada would be worried by Beck’s application update. In actual fact, the taxi giants are welcoming the completion.

‘‘As more transportation alternatives become available, consumers come first as our platform revolutionizes the way people connect with their cities and creates economic opportunity for transportation providers around the world,’’ stated Susie Heath, spokeswoman for Uber Canada.


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