Russian search company Yandex, who had some major social search plans in the U.S. fall apart last month, has now launched a new cab fare payments service via itsYandex.Taxi iPhone app, which allows users to pay with a bankcard, even if the taxi itself isn't equipped with a card terminal.
“In many countries it’s possible to pay for practically anything with a bankcard, and in Russia it’s gradually becoming the norm as well, especially in big cities,” said Lev Volozh, head of the Yandex.Taxi service. “People enjoy the convenience of using bankcards to make payments in shops, restaurants and at the cinema ¬– but in Moscow there are still very few taxis equipped to take bankcards. With the help of our service, people can pay for their taxi ride whichever way suits them best – by cash or by card.”
"Thanks to the new service’s integration with Yandex.Money, users can be confident that their transaction will be fast and secure: they can pay by card without actually handing their card to the driver or disclosing their card details to the taxi company," Yandex says in its announcement. "Yandex.Money has been working with bankcards for a long time and has a strong track record, having processed millions of transactions, including payments to many transportation providers. Yandex.Money can already be used to buy plane, train and intercity bus tickets."
The service, for now, is only available in Moscow, but the company says it will soon launch in other cities and on other mobile platforms. It will also come to taxi.yandex.ru.
Yandex reported fourth-quarter earnings this week, missing estimates for profits. The company leads in Google in search market share in Russia, with over 60% of the market.
Earlier this month, numbers from comScore showed that Yandex is actually leading Bing worldwide in terms of search queries.