Mobile is key to restoring consumer confidence when paying for parking


You don’t need media reports or PR surveys to tell you parking the car can be frustrating.

Finding a parking space alone can take forever and then there’s the stress of fitting into a space that’s barely big enough, while others aggressively hoot their horns at you.

When finally parked, all anyone wants to do is pay as quickly as possible and leave. The last thing you then want is to struggle with your payment. Imagine how people would feel if they do all this only to realise the machine won’t take your new £1 coin.

However, while consumers can use these mobile apps to make cashless payments on the go, they can require the consumer to enter credit card details every time a payment is made. This creates an additional barrier by making the process longer and more complicated than it needs to be. The parking industry has recognised these difficulties and has at least attempted to make the payment process easier; given that we live in an almost cashless society, many companies have now introduced mobile payments apps.

Although mobile is undoubtedly the simplest and convenient way to make payments, we know this doesn’t always work for all consumers; if the process is overly complex, they won’t bother.

Mobile payments could be a game-changer for the parking industry, if the payment method was simpler — so why aren’t companies using more mobile carrier payments?

Maximising payments through mobile

This is the opportunity for mobile carrier payments, which charge costs to an individual’s mobile phone bill. Unlike Apple Pay, Paypal and other payment methods that need the input of credit card details, carrier payments are ubiquitous and only require a mobile number.

If parking companies introduced this as a payment method, consumers would be able to pay for parking from their devices without having to type in their credit card details.

Mobile carrier payments allow for an extremely frictionless, convenient micropayment mechanic, which the car parking industry can truly embrace — users simply confirm their mobile number and click ‘accept’.

Parking companies have a real opportunity to maximise the power of consumers’ mobile numbers; aside from acting as a payment mechanic through mobile operator payments, they can also act as a method of communication.

Reminders, for example, allow consumers to extend their time in a parking space from their device, demonstrating how companies can capitalise on ‘at the point of need’ ticket purchases.

Furthermore, other technologies are readily available to be used with mobile payments, but they cannot reach their full potential without a convenient payment method. For example, the use of geolocation could mean that instead of having to manually list the location of your car, your app could work it out for you automatically. Once your location is confirmed, a simple text to a shortcode would add a charge to your mobile phone bill.

Consumers should have the choice to pay the way which best suits them. A strong relationship between parking companies and the public could be ensured by making parking payments easy for everyone, and in our cashless society, people will increasingly opt for mobile.

So why not make mobile payments as effective as possible by offering mobile carrier payments?