For this week’s Small Business Q&A, Kehlan talks with Jim Moore from ParkByText which is a cashless way to pay for parking in over 200 locations in Ireland, the UK and the US.
What do you do at ParkByText Jim?
We allow a mobile phone user to pay for parking through their mobile device. We recently struck a deal with Irish Rail to have this in most of their train station parking lots. So you pay for whatever time you need. You can use ParkByText via our website, our automated phone line, our app or they can simply send a text to your number. If you’re not registered you can still use the service but you have to enter your credit card each time you want to use the service. So anyone can use the service whether you are signed up or not.
Did this come from a personal experience with paying for parking?
We’ve all had experiences while finding and paying for parking, but it wasn’t necessarily that for us. Five years ago we started working with a private parking operator, where we provided the technology for them and their customers’ ease of use. As technology evolved and became more prevalent in people’s lives we realised it could be used as a more common-place solution to paying for parking. So we developed it further and branched it out to give it its own brand name.
So is this part of the future of a cashless, paperless society?
Sure, I mean with our system there is no ticket on the car dashboard either. What happens is that when you register with us you also register your car number plate as well. So then the parking inspector can walk around with their handheld device scan your number plate and see if you’re up to date with your parking fees. The other side of that as well is that you will receive a notification on your mobile device when your time is running out. So you simply top up again if you’re away from your vehicle. So yes, no paper involved just good technology.
You recently won a European Business Champion award, does that tell you you are going in the right direction?
To a certain extent yes, but you don’t get into business to win awards. We got into this because of the business idea and that’s what matters. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t proud but the other side is we are just doing what we do and doing it really well. We didn’t do anything different to win the award, we just won because we have good business practice and work hard to achieve results. Awards don’t tell you that you are going in the right direction, your customers do.
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