Innovative Taxi Kiosks Boost Customer Experience

Silver Arrow unattended taxi kiosk


Silver Arrow Systems develop and manufacture innovative self-service kiosks that allow customers at airports and shopping centers to book and pay for private hire taxi and limo transport. The kiosks provide airline passengers and shoppers with the simplest way to arrange a ride, in partnership with Addison Lee, a leading premium private transportation provider. With no need to download an app or call a customer service centre, payment can be made by card directly on the kiosk, thanks to NMI’s unified commerce solutions.

AL Luton cabin in use 1

The challenge

At London Luton Airport, Addison Lee had a service desk manned by staff that were able to take bookings from customers, before directing them to a taxi rank outside the airport building. With the airport operating flights around the clock, it was impossible to cost-effectively maintain a 24-hour service, compromising customer service and losing revenue. A new solution was needed that had the capability to securely accept payment, in order to mitigate the risk of customers ordering a taxi then failing to show. In the case of Westfield London Shopping Centre, Addison Lee had no presence at the center, relying on customers downloading and using the Addison Lee app. Something more visual was required to publicise the Addison Lee service, yet it still had to be acceptable to the center in terms of look, safety and security.

How NMI helped

At Westfield all bookings require payment by card at the kiosks before they are confirmed. At Luton Airport bookings can be paid for by card at the kiosks (65% of transactions), or booked at the kiosks and paid with cash in the car. The primary purpose of all the kiosks is for transactions, although there is a significant benefit to Addison Lee in their visual brand presence - the kiosks have large digital screens to promote from.

Specialist kiosk integrator Silver Arrow Systems identified the Ingenico “iSelf” unattended card readers and PIN Pad as being suitably robust and fitting for the new kiosks. They approached NMI to provide payment gateway services for the project. NMI has certified the iSelf devices with a range of UK and US acquirers and bank processors, and provides ChipDNA, an easy-to-integrate software development kit (SDK) that controls all aspects of card payment transactions.

ChipDNA is a Windows or Linux component that runs on the PC, typically within the Kiosk. When requested to authorize a payment by the kiosk, ChipDNA initializes the card reader and controls user prompts on the PIN Pad display. Once the card has been inserted or tapped, ChipDNA securely encrypts the card data and sends it to NMI for bank authorization. Upon authorization, the kiosk confirms the taxi booking through an API to Addison Lee’s reservation system, and a receipt is issued to the customer.

The results

In the first phase of the rollout, 4 kiosks went live in Addison Lee’s Luton Airport concession and 2 kiosks in the Westfield London shopping mall. Luton Airport kiosks receive over £7 million in bookings through them per year. There has been an estimated 4% increase in conversion from the journey quote and a 68% reduction in transaction time (now just 48 seconds) as opposed to the slower, staffed operation at Luton. After automating there was also a 70% reduction in operating costs for Addison Lee compared to the previously manned operation, and because queues are virtually eliminated, it lessens the chance of customers searching for alternative modes of transport.

Silver Arrow Systems Business Development Director, Sam Playfair, commented, “NMI’s responsiveness and support throughout our project was excellent. The ChipDNA integration was a critical path activity for us and thanks to their support team and account management we were able to implement, test and release our product without delay or issue.”

About NMI

NMI is a leading global full commerce enablement platform, processing more than $195 billion in payments annually. We enable payments for over 3,300 partners and over 267,000 merchants around the world and across the entire commerce ecosystem: online, in-app, mobile, in-store, unattended and whatever’s next. We’re constantly innovating in order to power the next era of payments, building in the latest technology so ISVs, ISOs, Banks and Fintech Innovators can focus on what they do best. NMI has offices in the US and UK and serves global customers.

"The ChipDNA integration was a critical path activity for us and thanks to their support team and account management we were able to implement, test and release our product without delay or issue."

The Future

Customer feedback from the kiosks at Westfield has been positive as it promotes healthy competition – sometimes shoppers want an alternative option to the often expensive Taxi cabs. A key differentiator is that the kiosks provide a quote for the customer’s journey before travel as opposed to Taxis where the unknown fee is presented at the end of the trip. Management at Westfield London view the operation as a further extension of their service to customers rather than purely revenue generation and are considering deployment at other shopping centres.

About NMI

NMI enables thousands of forward thinking ISOs, ISVs, VARs and Payment Facilitators to shift to a new Unified Commerce Strategy to achieve disruptive results. Our leading commerce enablement platform unifies every point of engagement – ecommerce, retail, mobile and unattended – to deliver a singular view of the customer from wherever the transactions takes place.

Processing more than $180 billion in payments a year, NMI is the driving force behind 3,200 technology partners and 260,000 merchants who are shifting to a new Unified Commerce Strategy to put their business first, gain new value, and deliver a superior merchant and customer experience.