Chat with Kush Parikh, president of mobile parking app PayByPhone

July 16, 2015 | 0 Comments

Geneva, Switzerland recently joined the ranks of other international cities — among them locales throughout the U.S., U.K., France, Australia and Canada — pioneering mobile parking payments with PayByPhone. The app allows drivers to use the location number, found on their parking machine, as a reference point to pay for parking spots via smartphone or on the web. With his app deployed for 500 spots throughout the Swiss city, PayByPhone president Kush Parikh shared his thoughts on the app’s expansion, and the future of mobile parking payment.

PayByPhone is bringing mobile parking payments to Geneva -- and has plans to expand still further in Europe.

PayByPhone is bringing mobile parking payments to Geneva — and has plans to expand still further in Europe.

Tell us a bit about your expansion. Do you approach cities, or do they approach you?

It’s a little bit of both. Generally, in the last two to three years, it’s more that cities and countries approach us. We try to figure out, from a business perspective, what makes sense for us, [finding] the appropriate stewards of our business. [As far as] Switzerland, it made a lot of sense for us to move into that space. We’ve had many countries approach us in South America, China, Japan, etc., and we’re still in discussions with many of those.

Walk us through the process of implementing the app in a new locale.

In the case of Geneva, it started with the business momentum we had in France. We’re in a dozen cities across France today, and much of these are new deployments within the last couple of years. We’re the supplier to 155,000 spots in Paris, as the largest parking operation in the world.

[Picking up on] the momentum, back in October 2013 the Swiss government/the city of Geneva was interested in a trial. We said yes, and we kicked off a trial in October 2013 for 500 spaces in the city. Not many, but enough to get an idea of how the service works. They were happy with the pilot, because people were a) using the service and b) seeing a higher transaction value when people were using their phone versus on-street machines. Once they saw the results, the trial expanded a little bit and then went to a formal Request for Proposal back earlier this year. [Following a competitive review] we were chosen as supplier for full deployment across Geneva city and potentially across the state of Geneva, which will be determined within the next six months.

[Expansion is a] natural progression as cities engage with the service. A city may like the service; they start investing more into expanding the service more broadly and those cities which have marketing departments will market it. They wrapped a tramway in a banner that says ‘PayByPhone’ in Geneva.

Where do you plan to expand next?

We’re looking at two to three options in western Europe and also considering, potentially, some movement in Asia. In the U.S., we’re focusing on areas where believe there is a high scarcity of parking: primarily the west coast, pacific northwest, and southeast, where we are currently in Miami and Coral Gables. And, of course, the northeast. It’s not just city deals, but also a lot of private sector deals.

It’s about being broader but also about being deeper, offering a service in less-populated areas of the country.

Learn more about PayByPhone and discover if the service is available in your area online.

Category: Parking Tech