There must be a better way to pay for parking

 

Recent research by the AA found that cashless parking machines that accept payment by calling or texting an automated service are extremely unpopular among drivers, with two thirds refusing to use them.

In the survey, seven out of 10 motorists said they were more likely to keep searching for a space than park in one where a mobile payment is mandatory. This is particularly true for the elderly, but they alone cannot make up the 70% who avoid pay by phone.

”Local

In fact, in the UK, what is presented as a simple mobile payment for parking can actually be the process to register a credit card. And it’s a complete faff.

The current process of paying by phone can take several minutes as drivers are required to call a number, select options, enter credit card details and then wait for confirmation. The chances are you’ll be there for a good 10 minutes if you want to register a new vehicle.

A spokesman for the Local Government Association, representing more than 370 councils in England and Wales, said: ‘Councils offer a variety of ways to pay for parking, and paying by phone can be a quick and convenient way to do so.’

But in an age where ApplePay, carrier billing, SMS billing, contactless and other nifty payment methods are so prevalent, why do we still need to get our credit cards out?

There must be a better way…

If mobile payment systems are implemented correctly, the benefits for paying by mobile are clear: it saves you going back to the car if you’d like to stay longer, there’s no need to carry cash and it’s simply a quicker payment.

Ultimately, it’s not about eliminating cash payments all together; it’s about giving those paying for parking more choice and letting them pay in the way that’s most convenient for them.

SMS is the most ubiquitous form of communication: it’s easy to use and it makes sense. Older people may not be interested in downloading the latest apps but they do understand texting. By simply texting a parking zone and spot number to a five digit number displayed at the car park, payment could be made and charged to the mobile phone bill - it’s as simple as that.

Alternatively, a carrier billing payment option could be used within an app, sitting alongside other payment methods to enable customers to pay for their tickets with just a couple of taps on their mobile device. The process does not require credit card details to be typed in, as customers will be charged to their mobile phone bill.

The public have long looked at parking companies in a negative light, seeing them as desperate to hand out tickets and fines; the main challenge ahead will be around building and protecting consumer trust.

Engagement strategies are key to this: it can be as simple as sending a member of the public an SMS alert reminding them their parking is about to expire that can help overcome the problems that have created this perception. They could even provide an option to extend their time by replying to the SMS.

It’s true, pay by phone is convenient but parking companies need to get the process right to get mobile payments covered.

Hannah Giles is head of marketing at billing firm Fonix

 

Also see

Register now for full access


Register just once to get unrestricted, real-time coverage of the issues and challenges facing UK transport and highways engineers.

Full website content includes the latest news, exclusive commentary from leading industry figures and detailed topical analysis of the highways, transportation, environment and place-shaping sectors. Use the link below to register your details for full, free access.

Already a registered? Login

 
comments powered by Disqus
 
 
highways jobs

Lead Engineer [Development]

Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council
£40,760 - £41,675 per annum
Looking for an exciting new opportunity? Join us in Knowsley’s Major Development Team! Knowsley (Metropolitan borough), Merseyside
Recuriter: Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council

Principal Engineer [Development]

Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council
£34,788 - £35,934 per annum
Looking for an exciting new opportunity? Join us in Knowsley’s Major Development Team! Knowsley (Metropolitan borough), Merseyside
Recuriter: Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council

Director of Neighbourhoods

Havering London Borough Council
c.£138,000
As Director of Neighbourhoods, you will provide strategic leadership for a full range of regulatory and non-regulatory services Romford, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Havering London Borough Council

Director of Economic Development & Planning

Wiltshire Council
£99,856 - £110,084 per annum
In this role you will have a key role in growing the local economy Wiltshire
Recuriter: Wiltshire Council

Executive Officer

London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth
£24,660 - £31,764
A new opportunity has arisen for an Executive Officer to join The Environment and Community Services Directorate Richmond upon Thames, London (Greater)
Recuriter: London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth

Director, Governance and Improvement

City of York Council
£87,623 to £97,149
We are looking for an exceptional individual to be appointed to the position of Director of Governance and Improvement. York, North Yorkshire
Recuriter: City of York Council

Chief Fire Officer

West Sussex County Council
Competitive Salary plus Financial Support for Recruitment and Retention
We are looking for an exceptional individual who can lead our Fire & Rescue Service Chichester, West Sussex
Recuriter: West Sussex County Council

Inspector / Senior Inspector

City of Bradford MDC
£21,166 - £31,371 pa
This is an opportunity to join the Highway Maintenance team who have responsibility for maintenance of around 2,000km of adopted road network. Bradford, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: City of Bradford MDC

Traffic Management Operative/Foreman

Balfour Beatty
Competitive
Are you a Traffic Management Operative/Foreman with Highspeed (12AB) Qualifications, looking for a new and exciting opportunity? If so read on..... Leatherhead, Surrey
Recuriter: Balfour Beatty

Senior Team Leader

Redbridge London Borough Council
£35,992 to £38,994 per annum inclusive
Looking for individuals with initiative, evidence of experience in managing a street cleansing service and motivating... Redbridge, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Redbridge London Borough Council

Road Safety Engineer

Cambridgeshire County Council
£21,589 - £31,371
We are looking for a candidate who can participate in developing and delivering technically sound highway engineering solutions. Cambridgeshire
Recuriter: Cambridgeshire County Council

Information Management Officer x 2 Jobs

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
£24,799 - £26,317
Looking for better and smarter ways to operate and you will play a key role working across a broad range of service... Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Graduate Engineer

Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council
£24,313 - £28,785 per annum
This is an exciting new opportunity in the Highway Services team to play a pivotal role in creating a safe and... Sandwell, West Midlands
Recuriter: Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council

School Crossing Patrol

Brent Council
£21,591 - £22,377 p.a. inc. pro rata.
Looking for someone that is friendly, has great communication skills and enjoys working with children. Wembley, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Brent Council

Engineer (Highway Design)

Darlington Borough Council
£31,371 - £33,799
Looking to employ an experienced person within the Highway Design team to meet the challenge of enabling development... Darlington, Durham
Recuriter: Darlington Borough Council

Project Manager – Major Maintenance and Infrastructure Projects 

Liverpool City Council
£42,683 - £47,491 
The successful candidate will ensure that effective procurement and delivery of highways maintenance and improvement. Liverpool, Merseyside
Recuriter: Liverpool City Council

Green Space Development Manager

Camden London Borough Council
£45,504 - £52,786
The successful candidate will join a dynamic, multi-disciplinary team and contribute to our commitment to deliver for... Camden, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Camden London Borough Council

Green Space Project Officer

Camden London Borough Council
£40,829 - £47,360
The successful candidate will join a dynamic, multi-disciplinary team and contribute to our commitment to deliver for the people of Camden, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Camden London Borough Council

Senior Principal Planning Officer - Fixed Term

Royal Borough of Greenwich
£39.774 - £42.684
Looking for key members of the team that will be instrumental in transforming the Borough and opportunities available for residents.  Greenwich, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Royal Borough of Greenwich

Career Grade Planner

Royal Borough of Greenwich
£27228 - £36711
In this role you will deal primarily with small-scale planning applications covering a wide range of planning issues. Greenwich, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Royal Borough of Greenwich