Winchester City Council has appointed PayByPhone to handle mobile payments at its off-street car parks for a further three years. Winchester was one of the first local authorities in England to introduce mobile payments for motorists in 2008.
Among the many service improvements with the new contract, which follows a competitive tendering process, signage in the car parks has been updated to promote the PayByPhone mobile web and app and a new local rate phone number has been introduced. Wintonians have quickly shown a preference for using smart phone technology. Payments made using mobile web and the app have more than doubled over the last 12 months and now account for 43% of parking payments. While 51% of transactions are currently done via phone call in Winchester, the trend is changing and it is clear that smartphone payments are set to outstrip them, particularly as smartphone ownership becomes the norm.
“Over 60% of all mobile owners in the UK now have smartphones and advances in mobile phone technology are changing the way that people use them. Keeping in touch is now mostly done using social media apps rather than phone calls, so it is imperative that our service reflects this behaviour and is easy and convenient to use,” said Robin Bevan, Consumer Marketing Director at PayByPhone.
Over 50,000 people have now signed up to use PayByPhone in Winchester and the service now forms an important part of the city’s parking strategy. Richard Hein, parking and CCTV manager for Winchester City Council, said: “We are delighted that PayByPhone will continue to provide our off-street mobile payment service. The focus is very much on providing the motorist with a range of payment options to make it easy to park and so encourage them to shop in our city. The ability for motorists to top up their parking remotely via PayByPhone is an important element in supporting local businesses and keeping people in the shops.”
Councillor Jan Warwick, the Portfolio Holder for Neighbourhoods and Environment at Winchester City Council, also said: “I am so pleased the City Council is able to work with innovative companies such as PayByPhone, which shares our aim to simplify the parking experience in Winchester.”