Taxi Magic's new iPhone payment powers

An update to Taxi Magic gives cab passengers a little credit--the ability to pay cab fare with a tap of the iPhone.

Taxi Magic (RideCharge) on iPhone
RideCharge's Taxi Magic now lets you pay your cab fare with credit. (Credit: CNET)

Last week I wrote about Taxi Magic (download), an iPhone app that, along with RideCharge--its cousin for BlackBerry and Windows Mobile phones--lets you order a cab to your present location, and track it as it wends its way toward you. Version 1.1, released on Wednesday, gives Taxi Magic the one main feature missing from its BlackBerry and Windows Mobile counterparts: the ability to pay your cab fare with a tap of the iPhone.

This mobile payment option works by associating one or more credit cards to your RideCharge account (RideCharge's privacy policy). When it's time to pay, you choose the credit card you want to use, and as we understand it, a record of the transaction will automatically appear for the cab driver. In the meantime, you're e-mailed a receipt, which you can also access online. This leaves you free to bolt out of the cab without fishing for your credit card. The system is ideally positioned for corporate travelers who can charge to the company card and forward the e-mailed receipt to accounting, or for consumers who are running late, don't have cash on hand, or don't mind paying a $1.50 surcharge for cabs that come at their beck and call.

In addition to gaining payment functionality, Taxi Magic 1.1 also adds cab-summoning support for Boston, and a handful of navigational enhancements.

About Jessica Dolcourt

Jessica Dolcourt reviews smartphones and cell phones, covers handset news, and pens the monthly column Smartphones Unlocked. A senior editor, she started at CNET in 2006 and spent four years reviewing mobile and desktop software before taking on devices.