Driving in New York and the requisite parking of vehicles nearly guarantees that drivers will be greeted with a ticket or two each year when they return to their vehicles. For many, especially frequent drivers, that number is far too low as the city issues nearly 10 million parking tickets each year.
Those 10 million tickets bring in around $600 million in revenue each year, despite the scofflaws that don’t always pay them, perhaps most notorious of this group being the foreign diplomats that seem to make headlines on a yearly basis.
Immediate payments with PayPal, Apple Pay, and Bitcoin
But for those who do pay their tickets as ordered, the city of New York is looking to make those remittances easier on the cited. Presently, the city’s finance department is looking into the feasibility of accepting PayPal, Apple Pay, and Bitcoin. For many people, that would allow immediate payments to be made from their smartphones.
Rarely a week goes by when you don’t read of another company willing to accept Bitcoin as a payment option and it won’t be long before a million retail locations in the United States accept payments by either Google Wallet, Apple Pay or PayPal.
Right now, ticketed drivers are able to pay their fines by mail, online, or perhaps the worst option of all…in person at the courthouse. An option that if one were to drive to almost guarantees another parking ticket given the long lines to pay the ticket. And while you can pay online, that doesn’t necessarily mean by a mobile device. Additionally, payments by both credit card and debit card see a fee, for your “convenience”, of 2.5%.
Request for Information
The idea behind mobile payments is no less than twofold. The city claims that it is hoping to see fewer people paying late fees that begin 30 days after the ticket is issued and, presumably, the city would like the steady stream of revenue as well as being able to simplify collection without impounding vehicles.
To be certain, any digital collection is still a long ways away from reality. So far, all the city has done is has issued a Request for Information that is due on January 15, 2015. In that request, the city admits that it is fairly ignorant about the mobile payment possibilities available to it.
But then again, all journey’s start with a single step and its refreshing to see that the city is looking to improve its antiquated system to meet the digital age.