We see new examples of how mobile payments can make life easier all the time, but one of the most practical applications of this new technology has emerged in the parking mobile payments industry. PYMNTS.com spoke with Neil Podmore, PayByPhone’s vice president of business development, about how mobile is changing parking, the future of NFC and how quickly consumers are adopting to mobile payments methods.
Instead of rummaging through your car, purse or pockets for quarters, wouldn’t you rather pay for a parking meter via smartphone?
If so, now’s the time to familiarize yourself with the growing mobile parking payments industry, which is changing the way people pay for their parking around the globe. It’s an area in which mobile payments has an obvious and appealing practicality, and the technology that makes it possible could be coming to a major city near you soon.
PayByPhone is one such major player in the field with systems installed in San Francisco, Vancouver, and London, among other cities. PYMNTS.com spoke with Neil Podmore, PayByPhone’s vice president of business development, to get a better feel for the field and to gauge consumer response this a new way of paying for parking.
“There’s tremendous room for growth in parking, which may sound a little bit limited in terms of vision, but nonetheless is a big industry both within North America and in markets like Latin America and Asia, where you have big cities growing rapidly,” Podmore said.
“We see our niche in the payments marketplace as being very much tied into people on the move.”
PayByPhone allows people to pay for their parking two ways – either by calling a toll-free number that drivers will find posted on meters, or by using a free mobile app that allows consumers to store a credit or debit card on file.
According to Podmore, the adoption of the mobile app use has been mixed depending on location. In San Francisco, where PayByPhone has been live for just over nine months, only around 35 percent of consumers use the mobile app, while the rest use PayByPhone’s toll-free dial-in.
But while San Francisco may be slow to realize PayByPhone’s mobile potential, Podmore said that Central London, which he characterizes as the company’s “flagship client,” has fully embraced mobile parking payments.
“They have taken the service to what we consider its logical conclusion and eliminated parking meters,” Podmore says. “The only way of paying is though your cell phone.”
To hear more of Podmore’s interview, including his thoughts on how NFC will affect the market, listen to the full podcast below.
Neil Podmore Vice President of Business Development North America, Earthport
Early employee of PayByPhone (formerly known as Verrus) a Vancouver founded company. PayByPhone handled 17 million mobile phone parking payments in 2012, cities that have deployed this breakthrough technology include London, Miami, San Francisco, Vancouver and shortly Seattle. Currently responsible for international growth in the core cell phone parking payment service and developing opportunities for mobile payments in new market segments.