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Taxi-hailing app takes on Uber with a new weapon

Curb, owned by Verifone, will debut its new feature in April

After being caught like a deer in Uber's headlights for the past five years, the taxi industry appears to be waking up.

Verifone Taxi Systems announced Wednesday that its recently acquired cab-hailing app Curb will soon launch in New York with an advance-booking feature—the first of its kind among the city's myriad ride-hailing apps.

Verifone operates payment systems and backseat TVs in about 14,000 New York City taxis—including about half of all yellow cabs—and already has a cab-hailing app, Way2Ride. Curb, which it bought in October, operates in 60 cities and gives the company a national footprint. Verifone is integrating the two apps and will "sunset" Way2Ride by the end of the year, said Amos Tamam, the company's senior vice president, in an interview.

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