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NFC Enables Mobile Payments for Parking Spaces

With a slew of advantages for consumers, near field communication (NFC) is emerging as one of the hottest mobile apps.

With a set of standards particularly for smartphones, NFC allows contactless transactions among other applications.

PayByPhone, a leading provider of systems for parking and urban mobility payments, has announced Ottawa as the latest major North American city to implement its cell phone payment method for parking.

Recently, Nokia announced an NFC version of Nokia Lumia 610 smartphone in the Lumia range. Orange will be the first operator to range the Lumia 610 NFC, which can pair with NFC accessories and read NFC tags. The Lumia 610 NFC also has the hardware and software enablers for the implementation of NFC payment and ticketing solutions. (Read: Nokia Lumia 610 Coming with NFC for Orange)

Near Field Communication

Near Field Communication

PayByPhone parking allows drivers to pay for and extend their parking time using a mobile app, online, or calling a local phone number. Ottawa is stated to be the first Canadian city to incorporate NFC and QR code features for its parking payments.

Every Pay & Display machine in Ottawa has a PayByPhone sticker with instructions on how to use the system. Embedded in that sticker is an NFC tag with the location number of the Pay & Display machine.

Once signed up, customers who have an NFC compatible smartphone simply wave it over the logo on the sticker and the PayByPhone app or mobile web page is launched. The system recognizes the user, identifies the parking location, and the customer enters the amount of time desired.

An optional text message is sent five minutes before the parking session ends, and if needed, allows additional time to be purchased via the phone (subject to time restrictions).

“There has been a lot of hype around NFC recently and we’re pleased to implement this technology for real-world applications,” said Neil Podmore, VP of Business Development at PayByPhone. “This is the first use of NFC for parking in Canada and we expect more widespread adoption in 2012.”

Drivers without NFC capable phones can still use the service by manually launching the app or simply calling the local number. The signs also contain QR codes for a mobile web transaction.

Customers can sign up by downloading the PayByPhone app online at PayByPhone stickers will be installed throughout the city over the next week and the service will also be available at non-gated City of Ottawa parking lots. It was announced today, April 26.

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