Posts Tagged ‘ parking ’

Mobile app to facilitate SMS Parking

Mobile-for, the Belgacom affiliate responsible for the SMS parking services in several Belgian cities, has launched a mobile application to facilitate this service.  The app, which can be tested in Leuven as from October 2009, can be downloaded on all Google Android enabled smartphones (which kinda limits the testing audience…)  In the coming months however, the app should be available for other smartphones, such as iPhone and Blackberry.

With the app, the user doesn’t have to sms his licence plate any longer.  He also knows the remaining parking time at all time.  The next release will also give GPS coordinates for the nearest parking automat and the occupancy status of parkings in the neighbourhood.

Early 2010, they will start a pilot project to pay your parking ticket through Ping.Ping’s NFC (Nearest Field Communication) technology.

sms-parking-leuven

SMS Parking: Schaarbeek in, Gent out

Paying your parking ticket by SMS; it’s one of the most successful examples of SMS payment in Belgium.
Especially in Antwerp, where it was first introduced, it’s been a success.

Ghent followed soon after, but the service there has now stopped, after experiencing technical problems since February.   NCS Crandy, the company behind the service in Ghent, has given up and has removed all stickers from parking automats.  Apparently, the service hasn’t been available since March 17 already.  The complicated system caused the service to be a lot less successful than in other cities.

But good news: Schaarbeek is now the first community in the Brussels area to start offering the SMS parking service.   Proximus clients will be charged for their parking ticket directly on their mobile invoice or deducted from their call credit.  Mobistar and Base subscribers will receive a separate invoice.

Among other cities that offer parking by SMS are Hasselt, Bruges and Tienen.
Many other cities are introducing the service in the coming months, such as Leuven (May) and Heusden-Zolder (July).

parking

Belgacom introduces mobile payment service Ping.Ping

Last week, Belgacom announced they’re taking a 40% share in Tunz, a Belgian company specialized in micropayments.

This week, the telecom giant said they are starting up a mobile payment service called Ping.Ping, which should allow to pay with your mobile phone for small amounts, such as a can in a vending machine or a drink in a bar.
Belgacom has made a large range of partnerships for this service.  One of them is with Accor Services, responsible for the food checks.  Goal is to digitize the food checks and put the value on a digital account. In a first trial, 500 Belgacom employees will be able to spend this digital money in horeca establishments in the neighborhood of Belgacom’s headquarters in Brussels.

There’s also a partnership with Coca-Cola, testing out the micropayment for vending machines.  Another trial will be with supermarket Delhaize.
To allow a ‘contact-less’ payment, the NFC technology will be used.  If the trials are successful, Delhaize wants to introduce customer identification by the mobile phone instead of the Delhaize Plus card. 

Ping.Ping is supposed to become a group name for all these different mobile payment services.  The already existing SMS parking and SMS bus ticketing – services from Mobile-for which was acquired by Belgacom – would also fall under this umbrella.  Belgacom promises several more applications in the coming weeks and months, including vouchers, reduction coupons, payments on campus and person-to-person payments. 

pingping-mobile-payment

A bright future for mobile payments

According to Juniper Research, about 2,1 billion mobile consumers worldwide will be using their mobile phone to pay for digital goods by 2013.  They point out that ever more digital goods are viewed as necessary by the age group under 35.  People who are 15 or 20 years old today will use their mobile to directly pay for mobile services such as mobile music downloads.  Smartphone devices such as the iPhone encourage this evolution even more. 

While mobile payments can be used for music, games, tickets, infotainment and other digital goods, we don’t see that many concrete examples yet today.  Probably the best prove that it works are the sms parking service and the sms bus tickets that exists is several Belgian cities now.  Last week, De lijn announced that it sold its 200.000th SMS ticket.  Since it’s launch in September 2007, there are about 17.000 travellers a month that their their bus fare by SMS.  62% of those are on the account of Antwerp, the other 38% for Ghent.  Later this year, De Lijn will decide if the project will be extended to other cities.  The advantage for the consumer is that the SMS ticket is cheaper than a normal ticket (1,20 euro instead of 1,60).  Unfortunately, it is only available for Proximus subscribers.

Belgacom buys SMS parking company Mobile-for

Belgacom is taking over Mobile-for, the company specialized in mobile payments for parking services. Mobile-for offers SMS payment solutions in 7 Belgian cities, allowing people to pay for their parking spot with a simple SMS message. The company was established in June 2006 by parking exploiter Apcoa Belgium and the Estonian NOW! Innovations. A few months later, it teamed up with Proximus to offer SMS parking in Antwerp. Today, 30% of parking places in Antwerp are paid by SMS. Other cities followed Hasselt, Tienen, Lokeren, Wetteren, Turnhout, Diest and soon also Bruges. In december, Mobile-for hopes to activate the SMS parking system also in other locations in Brussels and Wallonia. Mobile-for will become a separate entity within the Belgacom group. The take-over won’t affect the existing Mobile-for customers, communicated Belgacom. A price for the acquisition wasn’t announced.

SMS parking is huge success in Antwerp

A few months ago we reported about the new project in some Belgian cities to pay your parking space by SMS. In Antwerp this system turns out to be a huge success. According to De Standaard, about 20% of outdoor parking spaces in Antwerp is paid by SMS. The parking company GAPA is now negociating with paying parking lots to introduce the system there too. Instead of having to queue at a terminal to pay your parking ticket, it would become possible to send a SMS instead. To be continued…