May 11, 2011, 5:23 PM

Vodafone lets Londoners pay for a cab ride via text message

The fare is added to a consumer’s monthly mobile phone bill.

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U.K. wireless carrier Vodafone earlier this month launched a service that allows consumers to pay fares on the Heathrow Express airport shuttle and designated taxi cabs by sending a text message. The offering is only available if a consumer is in one of the 500 cabs and seven Heathrow Express trains that the mobile phone operator has wrapped in a Union Jack flag in London.

To pay via a text message Vodafone customers first have to register by calling a Vodafone number. Once registered, a consumer can pay for his fare by sending a text message to a designated number with the word “Taxi” or “Heathrow Express,” followed by the cab’s registration number and the cost of the fare. The fare is then added to the consumer’s monthly mobile phone bill.

Vodafone does not charge consumers for the cost of the registration call or the payment text.

The cabs will also contain chargers for many types of mobile phones so riders can charge their phones on their journey.

"Now with our fantastic fleet of Union Jack cabs and their onboard chargers which anyone can use, all Londoners will be able to see our continuing commitment to the capital," says Guy Lawrence, Vodafone UK CEO.

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