International

PayByPhone Targets Easier Urban Parking

PayByPhone, the mobile payments company that is focused on parking, said on Friday (June 26) in a release that it is streamlining the experience in a city setting.

Based in Vancouver, British Columbia, the company claims it is giving city dwellers “precious minutes back in their day” and pointed to Boston as a prime example of how mobile technology can help fuel a change in urban life. PayByPhone said in its release that digital payment apps can reduce infrastructure costs and boost convenience for commuters.

The PayByPhone service debuted last year, and the company said as a result, the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority decided to remove its traditional “honor box” system of cash payment for transportation effective next month. That stems from a majority of drivers, or 70 percent, opting to use their mobile phones in lieu of cash to pay. That’s a “phenomenal uptake in a short period of time,” the company declared in its release.

PayByPhone also spotlighted Paris, where its technology launched last year as well, and now the company has recently brought personalized services to the City of Lights, a program that started last month. In Paris, the PayByPhone app automatically calculates “preferred parking rates” tied to various locations citywide. License plates are also recognized automatically, which allows the app to calculate rates in real time — a function that PayByPhone says “virtually eliminates the need to dispute fraudulent or invalid charges and rates. It also means abusers, such as drivers parking in handicapped parking zones when they are not eligible, will be caught and penalized accordingly.”

And shifting attention to the U.K — specifically the London borough of Southwark — PayByPhone said it has launched a virtual permit system. Residents who live in applicable zones, the company said, can buy and activate parking permits via the Web, or by SMS, using their phones.

PayByPhone is part of PayPoint plc, and the parent company’s mobile transactions platform handles over 142 million payments for parking and other consumer services, the company stated.

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