Smart parking meters highlight need for payment integration
October 30, 2013

Integrated payment systems are an especially useful tool for businesses that operate multiple points of sale throughout entire cities. Traditional retail organizations can benefit from services when they accept a variety of electronic transactions from both online and brick-and-mortar channels. However, these companies aren't the only organizations that can leverage advanced technology to streamline essential financial services.

Businesses that offer smart parking meters in cities represent one particular industry that can leverage the advantages of payment integration. Such systems have replaced traditional coin-operated meters at a relatively rapid pace in recent years. In fact, city officials in Colorado Springs recently unveiled a new smart parking system that allows drivers to pay for public parking with credit cards.

"We are trying to give customers a more convenient way to pay for parking downtown," Greg Warnke, Colorado Springs parking administrator, told Colorado Springs Gazette, a local newspaper.

According to the CBS affiliate KKTV, the new meters will be mostly concentrated in the city's downtown area. However, officials have also installed a large number of machines in an area known as Old Colorado City along Colorado Avenue. The station reported many area residents are exciting about the change because it's often much more convenient to make purchases with a credit card as opposed to cash.

Colorado Springs Gazette said the city's new parking meters will still accept coins in addition to electronic payments. As a result, the Parking System Enterprise, which is responsible for managing the machines, will have to keep track of multiple transaction channels on a daily basis.

The importance of payment integration
Keeping proper organization of individual transaction information can be an especially challenging task for cities that implement smart parking meters along sidewalks. Each meter represents an individual point of sale. When these machines are able to accept credit card payments, advanced transaction management systems become a valuable asset.

For example, rather than relying on cumbersome software to gather data from multiple channels, private businesses or public transportation departments can invest in integrated payment services that automatically collect information in one easily accessible system.

As consumers rely more on credit cards for making small, everyday purchases instead of cash, many businesses and public organizations are implementing electronic systems into their existing operations. However, no matter how advanced technology is at the point of sale, investments in payment processing services will create substantial returns.

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