For people who live and drive around cities, paying for parking is almost always a hassle. With fewer people are carrying cash, making it nearly impossible to dig out the exact change needed at most parking meters, cities and parking lot owners around the country are increasingly relying on something drivers are more likely to have on hand — their phones.
Parking is among the most popular uses for mobile payments, with 19% of consumers having paid for parking with their smartphones and 26% indicating they’d be interested in doing so. Mobile payment technology providers are combining existing payment systems with location data, and they’re working with cities to ultimately drive more people into downtown shopping districts. Here are five examples of vendors offering mobile payment parking solutions right now.
1. Passport: A multi-modal approach to parking payments
Passport makes software that cities can use to enable pay-by-mobile parking. In the U.S., the company is already being used at parking meters in cities like Boston, Chicago, and Detroit. Passport’s technology is capable of providing both mobile payment options for parkers and mobile ticket options for public transit riders, and it is supported by an operations management platform that gives clients control over real-time parking activity data. Passport’s digital wallet is a closed loop system. Passport provides private label apps and the ability for clients, which include cities, universities, and private operators, to keep their data separate from others using Passport’s technology.
2. PayByPhone: A cashless parking solution
PayByPhone is a cashless parking app that drivers can use to avoid tickets and get reminders when it’s time to move their cars. In places where PayByPhone is accepted, drivers can enter a location code posted on the street sign or parking spot, enter the parking duration, and pay from their phones. They can also add more time from the app, or opt-in to receive alerts on their phones before their time expires. PayByPhone is available in dozens of cities throughout the U.S., Canada, and Australia, including San Francisco, Seattle, and Dallas. It’s also used at universities around the country.
3. Parking+Plus: White label parking apps for municipalities and lot owners
Parking+Plus is a B2B vendor for companies in the parking industry. Parking+Plus provides a way for municipalities and private parking lots to give drivers the option of reserving spots in advance and paying with their mobile devices. White label mobile apps use Bluetooth and long-range radio to enable drivers to find available spots in real-time and pay for parking on the street or in lots. Drivers can receive notifications before their meters expire and they can extend their payments without returning to their cars. Parking+Plus provides clients with full control over their parking systems, with technology can be used on top of existing solutions.
4. Parkmobile: Mobile payments for on- and off-street parking
Parkmobile enables mobile payments at selected parking meters and off-street parking lots. Anytime drivers see a Parkmobile sign, they can enter the “zone number” in the Parkmobile app to begin a new session. Parkmobile can be setup to send notifications 15 minutes before a meter expires. Drivers have the option to pay via the Parkmobile Wallet, Paypal, or Visa Checkout. In addition to its pay-by-mobile parking system, Parkmobile also offers a way for drivers to pay for digital parking permits and it allows for the real-time enforcement of parking rules.
5. ParkMe: Reservations and pre-payments for parking spots
At its core, ParkMe is a vendor that provides on-street and off-street parking data to clients, which include navigation companies, municipalities, parking operators, and smartphone platforms, but the company also offers consumer-facing mobile applications that let drivers find and pay for parking spots up to two weeks in advance. Consumers get guaranteed parking spots when they pay with their credit cards. Drivers in selected cities can also find parking meter locations and pay for available parking through the mobile app. The ParkMe API uses location data to determine the best place for drivers to park, and offers multiple payment provider integrations.
Know of other vendors with pay-by-mobile parking solutions? Leave a description in the comments.
Stephanie Miles is a senior editor at Street Fight.