TAXI passengers will be able to pay for fares using chip and pin machines from today in a first for Glasgow.

Glasgow Taxis Ltd is gearing up for the 2014 Commonwealth Games with the introduction of credit and debit card payment machines in vehicles.

The black taxi company, the largest in the UK outside London, will be introducing the new facility across its cabs over the new few months.

It is expected to be a success with visitors to the city and with those using Glasgow's nightlife pubs and clubs, especially on the way home at the end of a night out.

Stephen Flynn, the company's vice-chairman, said: "This is something many of our customers have been asking for and we are delighted to be able to provide a service that provides even more convenience for them.

"The option to pay by card is being introduced today and will be brought in across all Glasgow Taxis Ltd vehicles in the months ahead.

"It is a further demon-­stration of our investment in technology and customer service and very timely with the many major events coming to the city in 2014.

"We are proud to serve the people of Glasgow as well as the massive volumes of people who visit the city on a daily basis. We trust this new addition will be a welcome option for both."

The news has been wel­comed by the city's political and business leaders.

Councillor Gordon Matheson, leader of Glasgow City Council and chairman of Glasgow City Marketing Bureau, said: "We are about to welcome the biggest influx of visitors our city has ever seen, as we prepare to host a greater number of international events, including the Commonwealth Games.

"Our taxi drivers are prized as Glasgow's ambassadors and will offer many of our visitors with their first and last impressions of the city.

"It is greatly welcomed that Glasgow Taxis is investing in credit and debit card payment machines in vehicles ahead of the Games.

"The new system will allow for increased ease and convenience for visitors and locals alike, whilst travelling around the city."

Stuart Patrick, the chief executive of Glasgow Chamber Of Commerce, said: "This is great news from our city's taxi provider and it will be tremendously popular with customers.

"Taxis are a vital cog in Glasgow's overall transport infrastructure, particularly for the night-time economy. so initiatives such as this are welcome.

"I look forward to being able to use my card next time I pick up a cab."