Making it Easier to Pay for Parking in the U.K.

June 23, 2021 Dean Fennell-Connell

Did you know…

In the U.K., it’s estimated that approximately 39 million journeys end at a parking space each day, and at any given moment 30% of drivers in city centres are seeking a parking spot.

And as technologies have evolved, the widespread use of mobile apps enabled to include paying for parking is now common in most cities.

Transportation authorities around the world have the opportunity to support millions of drivers daily who prefer to pay for parking, transit services and other forms of transportation. Mobile-based transportation payment apps not only digitize cash payments for fare collection, but can even be expanded to include mobile payments for other purchases along each traveler’s journey, including parking.

Currently, however, multiple apps are typically required, along with multiple accounts to cover the various locations where parking payment apps can be used. This situation generates frustration and confusion for drivers and travellers of all types. It’s inconvenient to manage multiple apps. And most drivers would prefer not to create an account to pay for parking at a ‘one-off’ location. 

When drivers don’t use the required app, they are required to use the Pay & Display machines, which in most places will accept payment cards and cash. This also means drivers must have the right amount of cash in hand to pay for parking, along with more if later they must extend their parking session to remain legally parked.

This is why restricting driver choice of available apps clearly doesn’t work. Paying for parking should be simple and worry-free. Transportation authorities need multivendor payment solutions to enhance the customer experience by offering drivers choices. This, in turn, will increase parking compliance. Multivendor platforms make paying for parking simpler, no matter which form of payment drivers use. Making parking payment easier helps drivers remain in compliance with local parking regulations and gives municipal leaders the ability to better optimize kerb use, and maintain sustainable funding.

It’s clear that deploying a multivendor payment solution to simplify and widen payment options offers numerous benefits for enforcement officers, back-office operations personnel, and drivers as well. Enforcement officers gain the ability view all parking session data from their mobile devices no matter which cashless payment provider is used, for efficient compliance monitoring and management. This, combined with clear signage in car parks can help enforcement officers advise drivers who may be unfamiliar with the payment options available, to support engagement and enhance each driver’s experience.

Back-office operations personnel, meanwhile, can easily monitor and analyse platform usage from a single application. When reviewing case files to decide whether a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) should be upheld, back-office personnel can review all session data (parking sessions and permits) for the Vehicle Registration Mark (VRM) in contravention, on a single case review screen. This maximises staff effectiveness in dealing with parking compliance challenges.

And drivers gain the ability to pay using multiple cashless options, and top up parking sessions ‘on the go.’ The right mobile app also removes worries about having enough cash in hand to pay for parking, or requiring a run back to the car to extend parking.

Multivendor cashless parking has been successfully implemented in the U.K., by Conduent Transportation. The current platform was designed to accommodate any type of parking provider, and is future-proofed for wider integration with other transport modes. We offer the tools, knowledge, and years of transportation experience to successfully deploy multivendor payment solutions for municipal authorities.

To learn more about multivendor payment solutions for transportation, visit us at www.ConduentTransportation.com or email us at transportation@conduent.com.

About the Author

Dean Fennell-Connell

Dean Fennell-Connell leads business strategy for Conduent Transportation’s U.K. parking, kerbside management and camera enforcement services. With over 12 years of parking industry experience, he supports clients and technology suppliers by identifying solutions that enhance operations and each customer’s experience. Dean recently won the British Ex-Forces in Business ‘Young Leader of the Year’ award. Dean is also a British Parking Association Board member, and serves as Parking Technology representative, as well as chair of the Public Affairs and Communications Board for the British Parking Association Council.

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