Malaysia taxis
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Taxi passengers in the Malaysian cities of Kuala Lumpur and Johor Bahru can now pay for their rides in bitcoin, thanks to a booking service called Taximonger.

Bitcoin Malaysia reported that it believes Taximonger offers the first opportunity for Asian taxi customers to use bitcoin, adding that for Malaysia it also represents the first cashless payment system for cabs, a long overdue addition.

Taximonger offers a simple taxi matching service for passengers and about 1,400 drivers. There are apps for both iOS and Android, and customers can also book using the website.

Rather than scanning QR codes in the cab, bitcoin users send their payment to the app itself. The amounts are then converted to Malaysian ringgit and drivers receive a daily payment.

The video below demonstrates how it works:

 

The payment processor driving Taximonger was developed by local bitcoin enthusiast Arsyan Ismail and his team at BitRinggit, who have also produced Cryptomarket Malaysia and a Malaysian brokerage exchange.

There are also plans to extend bitcoin to other 'white label' apps from Taximonger in Malaysia, CAB2klia and JohorCab, soon.

Early adopters

Taxi drivers and companies have long been identified as candidates for bitcoin adoption and several companies around the world have been early adopters.

The payment method offers significant advantages over other electronic payment systems as it requires no special hardware for reading cards and no fees above whatever the payment processor charges. Bitcoin also offers considerable security and convenience benefits over cash, with taxi drivers being among the most vulnerable to theft.

Cab companies, booking services and individual drivers have all experimented with bitoin, or at least toyed with the idea, though it is not clear whether all still accept the currency.

New York cab drivers are reportedly free to accept bitcoin on an individual basis if they choose, and a picture posted online may show at least one driver who does.

Malaysia taxi image via Shutterstock

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