PayByPhone Parking Convenience Fee Reduced To Save Campus Drivers Nearly $20,000 Per Year
Approximately 15,000 times each month, individuals pay for parking at meters owned by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign by using the PayByPhone smartphone app.
Starting December 1, 2014, the convenience fee they pay for each PayByPhone transaction will drop from $0.30 to $0.20, according to Michelle Wahl, director of Parking. Over the course of a year, total savings for customers who use the app will be roughly $20,000.
The university’s campus in Urbana was one of the first in the country to adopt PayByPhone technology in 2010. As more cities and campuses have adopted PayByPhone, Wahl was able to negotiate a lower convenience fee with the vendor.
“Our students, faculty, staff and visitors absolutely love the text message reminders and the overall convenience and user-friendliness of the app,” Wahl said.
“If a class or meeting runs a little long, users don’t have to worry about risking a citation; they can extend their meter time from anywhere with a few keystrokes. The app helps us provide a better experience for our customers."
Wahl also explained that PayByPhone is provided at no cost to the university. Users provide a credit card number when they download and activate the free app. When parking at a campus-owned meter, users open the smartphone app and enter the lot and space number, as well the number of hours of parking they wish to purchase. Users can verify they are parked at a campus-owned meter by the PayByPhone signage on the meter pole. When the user confirms the transaction, the meter and convenience fees are charged to the credit card on file with PayByPhone.
Under the app’s funding model, the PayByPhone vendor collects both the hourly meter charges, $1.00 hourly at campus-owned meters and the per-transaction convenience fee. All of the hourly parking meter charges are remitted to the university and the vendor keeps the convenience fee, which is used to defray the costs of offering the service.
Wahl noted that PayByPhone is regarded as the most secure payment product in the parking industry. PayByPhone has been fully PCI-compliant for the last ten years and is a certified partner listed on VISA’s corporate website. PCI compliance standards are set by the payment card industry to ensure the security, integrity and privacy of transactions involving credit and debit cards.