When customers find an ideal solution they become loyal supporters. Instead of offering parking services to random drivers a car park can draw regular customers. This carries many benefits such as regular income sources for the car park owners. Drivers may prefer one car park to another. Much of this is dependent on the level of convenience the driver’s experience. Parking isn’t a solitary activity. Drivers often associate parking with the entire experience whether it is used for business, shopping or entertainment activities.
A car park that enhances an experience enjoys preference above others. This is true even if it causes consumers to walk further to their destinations.
The Importance of Car Park Payment Systems
One of the best ways to increase customer convenience is by improving car park payment systems. It determines:
Timelines: If the payment system results in queues drivers are forced to spend more time in the car park
Logistics: A slow or broken payment system prevents people from exiting. When customers realise they lack the required payment method they have to make other plans which cause delays.
These features can result in frustration. Car park managers should attempt at removing these features from car park payment systems:
The need to queue at pay points
Limited payment options
Cash, as the only payment option
When car parks circumvent these problems customers respond by using the area regularly. With new technology, it becomes easier to offer customers convenient options at car park payment systems.
Vouchers and Prepaid Cards
Voucher technology has been around for years. Unfortunately, many car parks continued using outdated methods such as cash. When drivers have vouchers they don’t need to carry or show their cash. This increases their safety which adds to the level of convenience they experience.It also makes payments happen faster. It’s even better when vouchers can be presented upon driving out instead of standing in a queue at a machine.
It also makes payments happen faster. It’s even better when vouchers can be presented upon driving out instead of standing in a queue at a machine. This is a practical solution, especially for regular or long term users. Vouchers can be obtained online or purchased from management offices.
Using Debit or Credit Cards
Consumers opt for the most effortless solution. In a mostly cashless society, it’s cumbersome to carry money or even additional parking vouchers. Enable customers to pay for parking with debit or credit cards. Modern technology has brought card holders:
RFID (Radio Frequency Identification)
NFC (Near Field Communication)
These chips and antennas are embedded in cards. It simply requires bank cards to be tapped to a payment device instead of inserted and typing in a PIN number.
Most people have these cards with them at all times. It counters the problem of not having cash at hand. Customers appreciate that technology they use at other vendors also allows them to exit car parks quickly.
Payment via Mobile Devices
Another item most people always carry with them are Smartphones. When car park payment systems allow these to be used for payments many customers’ frustration is laid to rest.
With advanced technology, this can happen in various ways.
A Smartphone as a Bank Card
Currently, there’s a huge movement to duplicate bank card features on Smartphones. A Smartphone can be linked to a specific card or bank account.
Tapping the Smartphone to a payment machine can register as if the card itself was presented.
Various payment applications exist that use barcodes or QR images. Mobile devices scan these images at car park payment systems to initiate instant payments. When these are placed at exit booms traffic can flow much quicker.
An electronic purse acts much the same as parking vouchers. Customers don’t have to carry physical cards. Available credit is loaded onto Smartphones. Parking fees are automatically deducted when the Smartphone is presented.
For car parks to draw these benefits they must register with the various apps. Consumers take note which venues offer convenient features and support them more.
Rely on Number Plates
Technology is so accurate customers’ movements can be tracked via their vehicle number plates. This adds convenience because customers never have to stand in queues or even present an outdated method of payment.
All entry and exit movements are tracked according to number plates. Cameras pick up the plate details upon entry. When the car exits the plate registers again and the driver is billed accordingly.
A number plate can be linked to any one of these payment options:
Credit and debit cards: Drivers can present the card the first time it uses the car park. Each subsequent time it’s automatically recognised and billed. This makes for faster entry and exit times.
Smartphones: The Smartphone—which contains the information to pay—can be presented for identification upon entry. When the car exits the charge is automatically processed.
Accounts: Where parking is used daily by certain drivers car park payment systems can be set up that requires no stopping. A vehicle’s number plate can be registered on the system and linked to an account. The car can enter and exit anytime. All charges are automatically deducted from the account.
In all these cases it’s important to keep customer information such as card details safe.
Online Parking Networks
A brand new way of parking is enabled thanks to mobile apps. Car parks—whether owned by businesses or municipalities—can become part of online parking networks.
These networks make parking—and payment thereof—extremely convenient for consumers:
The application shows where in a city parking bays are available. This can be on the street or in a car park.
The app shows how many bays are available. This information is supplied by sensors placed in each bay.
The app handles payment so consumers don’t have to transfer cash manually or necessarily visit a pay station.
This has already proven to increase the use of certain car parks. Consumers respond well to the fact that they don’t have to drive and look for parking. Their payments are also effortless which enhances the entire experience.
Consumers are constantly offered faster and more convenient ways of doing things. The only way car parks of the future will obtain steady streams of business is through using modern technology. Time is a valuable commodity and customers demand that it’s not wasted anywhere.