When the City of Galveston, in Texas USA, wanted to introduce paid parking to generate revenue for investment in the amenities serving its seawall, it faced the question of how to do it cost effectively. Parking had previously been free and although City voters had approved the introduction of paid parking, major capital expenditure would not be well received. The original plan to install parking meters and contract out the parking operation was rejected since its installation and maintenance costs would reduce the amount available for amenity improvements.
How Creditcall helped
Taking into account the very high ownership of mobile phones, the City decided on a mobile payment solution for its parking needs. This was provided by EMV enabled payment gateway provider Creditcall in conjunction with mobile payment solution provider PayByPhone. The solution promised to be quicker, more secure and more profitable than any other option considered.
How it works
Residents and visitors to the Seawall pay their parking fees either by downloading an app or calling a toll-free number. They can pay hourly, daily or yearly and receive reminders and extend parking from their phone. The fast, reliable and secure payment is made through Creditcall’s industry-leading payment gateway, with the options of email receipts and viewing parking history online.
As the sole payment gateway services provider for PayByPhone in the US and Canada since October 2007, it was natural for PayByPhone to work with us on the Galveston project. Security, reliability and speed were of the essence for this project, which required an established partnership that could deliver.
The innovative solution surpassed expectations. Within the first three months 34,000 drivers signed up and within the first 160 days more than 50,000 transactions had been made.
According to the City the parking programme is already more profitable than any other paid parking in the area, even before peak periods for tourism at the island had arrived. It is expected that in the next five years the system will see up to $700,000 of parking fees processed thanks to the Creditcall and PayByPhone partnership.
City of Galveston Mayor Lewis Rosen said: “The selection of PayByPhone (and Creditcall) allowed the City to uphold the integrity of the seawall and beach vista, reduce personnel costs, as well as reduce repairs and maintenance on hardware constantly inundated with salt and moisture from our Gulf Coast.”
Dave Witts, president of US payment systems at Creditcall, said: “For the City of Galveston our EMV enabled payment gateway offered the chance to introduce mobile payments with a future-proofed solution that didn’t require the traditional infrastructure investment and which is also more cost effective.”
Having seen its success out of season Galveston is anticipating equally rich rewards in peak season too. The numbers achieved so far by the future-proofed payment solution is evidence that the PayByPhone and Creditcall partnership approach was the right one, enabling a larger proportion of the income generated from the new parking system to go to its intended use.
City of Galveston
Introduction of paid parking to generate investment for local area
Record parking rates achieved – even out of season