Every Black Cab in London will be required to accept card payments from October this year, Transport for London has said.
TfL has promised that customers will not be forced to pay a surcharge for using a card. TfL has also committed to working with the card industry to link card payment devices directly to the taximeter in future.
"This will mean that passengers will only ever pay what is shown on the meter, no matter by what means they choose to pay," it said today.
The move, which has just been approved by TfL's board, follows a consultation in which card payment was backed by 86 per cent of respondents.
Garrett Emmerson, TfL's chief operating officer for surface transport, said: "We believe the acceptance of card and contactless payments will be a huge plus for both taxi drivers and their passengers.
"Card payments are part of everyday life in London, and people use them in every aspect of their lives. The TfL network is seeing more and more contactless payments so this would bring the taxi trade into line with other transport services in the capital.
"It means that customers no longer have to check whether they have cash for a journey beforehand and will open up taxis to potential new customers."
Boris Johnson said: "It's great news that with a quick swipe of a card, millions of passengers will be able to pay for their journeys in London's iconic black cabs. It's an essential part of modern life and it'll make paying for your journey swifter and simpler than ever before."
Members of the Black Cab trade welcomed the move.
Steve McNamara, general secretary of the London Taxi Drivers' Association, said: “Every black cab taking cards is fantastic news for London. In future, when you hail a cab you can be sure that you can pay the way you like, card, contactless or cash. That is without doubt better for our customers and for drivers who will benefit from extra work.”
Remo Gerber, chief executive of Gett UK, added: "This is another strong sign of how the London black cab trade is embracing the future; not only have cabbies embraced apps, everyone is behind making card payments universally accepted and by that making all journeys easier for Londoners.”