Parking Meters See Decline in Cash, Rise in Cards

July 15, 2013

A recent report from the city of Los Angeles’ parking department showed that for the first time more than half of the payments made for public parking were from a debit or credit card as opposed to cash. The report shows that in March of this year, debit and credit card payments made up $2.34 million of the $4.46 million in total collected in the month. This translates into roughly 52% of revenue collected for the city through the so called “smart meters”.

Smart meters have been popping up in cities all over the country in recent years. While they still accept coins like their predecessors, they run off of solar power, authorize cards through an Internet connection, and can even send an alert to city staff if they malfunctioning. The convenience that these smart meters provide, for both consumer and municipality, is clear.

For consumers, who more and more a less likely to have cash readily available, this provides the ease of paying with their cards that they have experienced in retail stores for decades. This delivers a much more seamless experience across many normal, daily experiences.

parking-meter

For the city, a decrease in coins used means less time sending city employees from meter to meter collecting the currency. Also, according to the city, drivers are more likely to pay the $5 an hour with the swipe of a card as opposed to dropping in the coin equivalent of 20 quarters. This convenience leads to higher spending by drivers and thus more revenue for the city.

So what does this mean for you if you are a business owner? This shift by towns and cities to align with the “cashless society” means that consumer behavior to carry less and less cash on their person will probably accelerate. If your business does not currently accept credit cards or you are with a merchant services provider that does not provide you with the best, transparent pricing, there is real money walking out your front door month after month. Contact one of our payment experts today at 877-517-4678 or take a few moments to fill out our signup form to see how much money you could be saving.

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