December 1, 2004
Torontonians can pay parking fees with their cell phones
Toronto, Ontario – A new wireless park and pay systems allows customers at participating Toronto Imperial Parking (Impark) lots to pay parking fees with their cell phones.
Available at 29 Impark parking lots throughout the downtown core and along the Yonge St. corridor, PayMint allows customers to drive into a parking lot, dial the PayMint phone number from their cell phone, and purchase parking time without leaving the car. PayMint will automatically send a reminder text message to the customer’s handset a half-hour before their time at the virtual meter expires. Customers can call again to obtain more parking time if required.
Impark monitoring staff use any wireless device, like a cell phone or PDA, to check whether a vehicle has logged in, and the duration of their parking stay.
“We are confident that Torontonians are eager for this type of wireless payment system. It not only offers car owners convenience, but also gives them more control by allowing them to add time remotely,” says Frank Maduri, president of Mint Inc. “Reaction in Vancouver and Victoria, where we launched in March, proves that PayMint is easy to use and encourages a high repeat use rate.”
PayMint works on any cellular network, and simply requires pre-registration either by phone or web, and “unblocking” caller ID features on the phone. Parking charges are sent to a pre-assigned credit card. There is a fifty cent charge for each parking session, or regular customers can purchase a flat-rate plan for ten dollars a month.
The Toronto rollout marks PayMint’s third implementation in Canada with Vancouver and Victoria being the first cities in Canada to have the park and pay by phone application available. Additional rollouts are planned for Calgary and Ottawa, as well as Coral Gables, Florida and selected U.S. locations.
“Consumers using PayMint do not have to carry cash or worry about overextending their stay as a result of long lines for holiday shopping, or lengthy stays in doctor’s waiting rooms. Subscribers simply log-in when they park, and can add additional time from anywhere – if they need it,” says Gordon Craig, Vice President, Impark.
Parking is approximately a $7 billion per year market in Canada. Research from Strategy Analytics, a Santa Fe, New Mexico-based research firm, states that the mobile commerce market is set to soar to US$200 billion in North America by 2006, while the Yankee Group estimates that by that same time, 26 per cent of all wireless users in the U.S. will be using their handsets to authorize payments.
To sign up for PayMint, users need to register at www.mintinc.com and click on the PayMint logo to register.