Magazine article American Banker

In Brief: Growth in Parking Meters Paid by Card

Magazine article American Banker

In Brief: Growth in Parking Meters Paid by Card

Article excerpt

A hundred and fifty Las Vegas parking spots are now cashless, according to Peppercoin Inc., which makes aggregation software allowing a variety of small-value payments to be processed as a single card transaction.

Fifteen meters, manufactured by Reino Parking Systems Inc. of Alameda, Calif., were switched on Wednesday, replacing coin-operated meters, Peppercoin said in a press release issued Wednesday. The system connects to both a cell phone and a credit card account.

Peppercoin said a similar system went live in Oklahoma City last week and that Yonkers, N.Y., is scheduled to begin using a set of cashless Reino meters this month.

Motorists who have enrolled to use the meters can pay by calling a number on their cell phones and entering the meter number and how long they want to park. When the time is about to expire, the system sends a text message, giving the user an opportunity to extend the parking time.

The charges are made directly to the credit card and do not appear on the phone bill. Mark Ralston, Reino's executive vice president of operations, said at a conference in October that it can be a hassle to get favorable terms from phone companies in order to put new charges on a cell phone bill. "They treat their bill as a holy entity," he said.

In June, Mark Siegel, a spokesman for Cingular Wireless LLC, told American Banker that his company often gets proposals to put extra charges on its customers' bills. "The first question we ask is, 'Is this something our customers will want? And oh, by the way, will we make money on it? …

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