Convenient and Smart
All POM parking meters can be programmed to accept prepaid smart (chip) cards, alone or in conjunction with coins. The benefits of using prepaid cards in parking meters are:
- Convenience for motorists; no more digging for coins. A ParkCard fits right into your pocket or wallet, or punch a hole in the corner and put it on your keychain.
- Reduced collection costs due to fewer coins in the meter vaults.
- Reduced vandalism due to fewer coins in the meter vaults.
- Encourages local shopping. Coins and credit cards may be spent anywhere, but your own branded smartcards can only be used at the meters in your town.
- You keep the up-front revenue (“float”) from card sales in your bank, earning interest, while it may take weeks or months before each card is used up. Additional revenue is possible by selling advertising on one side of the card.
- Since each card includes a unique, sequential number, the meter can “identify” the last user and perform programmed functions, such as disallowing extra payments with the same card past the legal parking time limit, and refunding left-over time back to the card when the motorist returns (Refund-A-Card option).
Refund-a-Card is a programming option developed by POM for its closed card systems whereby the electronic APM parking meter “remembers” the last ParkCard used in the meter. When the motorist returns to find left-over time remaining on their meter, they can reinsert their ParkCard, and the value of that left-over time is refunded to that card to the penny and the meter is reset to zero. This can make motorists more receptive to paid parking, since with a coin and/or credit card system, they would over-pay to avoid a citation and receive no refund.
One might think Refund-a-Card would lower revenue for the city, but the opposite is true. Refund-a-Card removes the leftover time from the meter, so fewer motorists find meters with time already on them — everyone has to pay. Traffic congestion is reduced when people cease cruising slowly for parking spaces with time remaining on the meters. Ask your POM Sales Representative for more information on how Refund-A-Card would work in your parking system.
MeterManager “Smartcard Manager” Module
MeterManager.net has a smart card management module utilizing a USB card reader/writer interface. This allows the parking system administrator to issue smartcards and add value to depleted cards. Maintain a database of card buyers. Transaction reports for financial accountability may be custom-defined to suit your needs. A couple of third-party options are available for issuing and reloading the cards remotely, just ask your POM Sales Representative for more information.