In most cities, parking is one of the most stressful situations for both citizens and parking operators.
Think of the last time you combed the streets in search of a place to park, or worse, found the perfect spot and didn’t have enough change to feed the meter.
Thankfully, municipalities are not sitting idle regarding this issue. Many are working to implement new technology to create a frictionless, smarter parking experience for constituents and visitors. And while many tend to think of autonomous vehicles and other hot-button technologies when considering the future of parking, mobile payments technology is increasingly driving this future and the rise of smart cities.
Mobile Payments and Municipalities
Mobile payment adoption has grown, and cities are taking notice. According to Statista, the number of mobile payment users in the United States alone is predicted to reach 74.9 million by 2022, up from 55 million users in 2018. And as mobile payments gain traction, the range of services consumers pay for with mobile devices is increasing too.
Citizens can use mobile apps for everyday city-related issues such as reporting problems with infrastructure, coordinating trash pickups and other utilities services and even requesting permits. And as the use of mobile apps for citizen engagement and convenience continue to increase, parking is the next frontier.
Get Appy – Paying for Parking is Becoming Easier
It’s safe to say mobility is on the minds of city parking and transportation officials. A recent study by the International Parking & Mobility Institute indicates mobile apps that provide real-time information on pricing and availability, technologies that improve access control and payment, and guidance systems to help drivers locate parking are of most interest to them.
Cities like San Francisco have partnered with apps and even implemented NFC-enabled stickers to the city’s more than 30,000 parking spaces to give drivers the option to pay for parking with NFC-enabled mobile phones.
In its simplest form, introducing mobile payments technology to parking does away with the need to insert coins into a meter and one of its accompanying impediments – having to leave what you’re doing to refeed the meter with more coins before time runs out. It creates that frictionless experience motorists and municipalities both want – bringing the ease of today’s retail experience to an increasingly stressful situation: parking.
It’s Not All About Motorists
What’s more, mobile payments technology eases parking-related burdens for municipalities, too. Cities implementing pay-for-parking apps benefit from data and insight into their parking environment to better plan and maintain city infrastructure.
Data can help a municipality better understanding usage patterns by uncovering underutilized and overcrowded parking areas and make the best use of their parking assets. It can help city planners and engineers pinpoint problem areas and figure out ways to redirect traffic to make municipalities run smoother. Data from mobile parking payments technology can also provide valuable insights to help cities continue to develop their smart city strategy and prepare for long-term growth.
Tap for Transformation
As people and cities adopt a more digital, cashless or cash-light mentality, now is the perfect time for parking’s transformation and acceptance of mobile payments. The growth of mobile payments can dramatically increase city revenue and parking compliance and help cities maintain better curbside management. By harnessing this technology, the days of hunting for coins will soon be in the rear-view mirror.