Pay By Cell
NFC may be coming, but Pay by Cell is here. I met Friday with Albert Bogaard, CEO of Parkmobile here in the US and his Senior VP for Sales, Brent Paxton. I’m in Atlanta on my way to Niagara Falls and the Canadian Parking Association Annual Confab next week.
Albert Bogaard, CEO of Park Mobile
Albert and Brent are, obviously high on this technology and, like proud parents, are bubbling all over about their success in Washington DC. They claim 90,000 people signed up in the nation’s capital and about 1,000 being added every day. This number seemed high to me, but Brent said it had to do with reaching a ‘critical mass’ of subscribers.
He told me that much of their success comes from word of mouth, subscribers telling friends and family about the program and how well it works. Since this is a numbers game, the more people signed up, the more people that will hear about pay by cell and hence, the more that continue to sign up. Albert said that they are now handling 16% of the parking transactions in DC. Since most cities are ecstatic over 10%, this is a big number.
I asked Albert about the depth of Park Mobile’s pockets, as Venture Capital firms typically put pressure on and don’t give companies a lot of room. He told me that BCD Holdings, the Dutch owners of Park Mobile and Bill Ford’s Fontinalis Partners were in it for the long haul. “These companies look to technology firms like ours as the future. BCD sees time in terms of generations, and Fontinalis is deeply concerned about sustainability and promotes firms like ours to assist in moving the transportation industry to a more sustainable position.”
Fontinalis has also taken a position in Streetline.