Magazine

DC Deployment a Great Success for Pay by Cell Phone

By Tina Dyer

The recent launch in our nation’s capital in July this year marks one of the most successful pay by cell phone operations in North America. Washington DC was able to successfully kick off its mobile payment program after a strictly managed 67 day deployment schedule, involving multiple integrations with 2 enforcement software providers, a payment processor, and 2 municipal stakeholders (DDOT and DPW). Simultaneously, more than 13,500 pay by cell stickers were affixed to single space meters and multi space machines covering 17,157 parking spaces in the District. Moreover, 2,700 metal signs increased visibility and awareness for the customers.
After the well-attended ribbon cutting ceremony performed by Mayor Vincent Gray and District Department of Transportation (DDOT) officials, the program rapidly exceeded traditional mobile payment models for other cities. Within 4 months, more than 600,000 transactions were generated with Parkmobile. The program is registering more than 1,100 new users per day, leading to more than 140,000 unique users. Customer satisfaction has reached a 95% satisfaction level. At the same time, DDOT’s lean management and Six Sigma objectives that formed the foundation of the program were structurally met and exceeded.
The success of this program has been built upon a tight partnership between the District and its supplier. Moreover, technology and marketing innovations drove the adoption rate to more than 25% after 4 months. The introduction of our patented mobile applications for iPhone, Android, BlackBerry and Windows Mobile 7 turned out to become the sweet spot of user convenience and experience. Over 5,000 weekly downloads of the mobile apps have consistently occurred post-deployment. More than 60% of all pay by cell transactions are generated by these user-friendly apps. In addition, the unmatched growth of social media is changing traditional methods to interact with several target audiences, providing unique opportunities for both the District and its supplier to engage with its customer base.
With the further extension of its mobile payment solutions to other segments (transit fare, vending, retail) and embracing new technology such as QR Code and Near Field Communication (NFC ‘Tap & Go’ payments), Parkmobile is further advancing its role as the leading mobile payment provider for the parking industry.
The Parkmobile Group was founded in Europe in 1999, allowing parkers simply to begin parking with a toll-free number. Since then, it has grown to become the dominant revenue and market share leader for mobile payment solutions in Europe, Australia and, more recently, the U.S.. In 2008, a related company of Parkmobile Group, Parkmobile USA, Inc. was established to serve specifically the U.S. market. Today, Parkmobile USA, Inc. conducts business in over 280 locations in 25 states, including large cities such as Washington DC, Houston, Atlanta, and Indianapolis.
Pay by cell phone companies have targeted a number of vertical parking markets with proven success: municipal, transit, commercial, university, and airport settings. Currently, the largest footprint of service covers the transit market space. Large transit parking operations utilizing Parkmobile’s service is available in Boston (MBTA), New York (Metro North), Denver (RTD), Chicago (CTA and METRA), and Washington DC (WMATA).
Tina Dyer is Marketing Sales and Support Manager for Park Mobile. She can be reached at tina.dyer@parkmobilegloble.com

Article Abstract from December, 2011




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