This week the municipality of The Hague (Den Haag) in Holland, together with the ING Bank and Taxa-Meter Centrale, start a two-month trial period of a new fast and safe payment method for parking by debit card (article in Dutch). Normally in Holland paying with your debit card requires entering a security code. With this new payment method you don’t have to enter the security code: Simply insert your card, enter your time limit and press the OK button. The main reason for this trial is to get more experience with the new payment method before implementing it in the whole country.
This payment system, with which you don’t have to enter your security number, is already implemented in different European countries. Countries like Belgium, France and Italy have positive experiences with the system.
Why is this payment method for parking safer?
In order for criminals to be able to access your bank account, they’ll need to have your security number. Because this new method doesn’t require your security number, so-called ‘skimmers’ can’t access your bank account. Reading the magnet strip of the debit card isn’t enough without the matching security code. Also, the new method is limited to 50 Euros per payment, in case your card gets lost or stolen. This means that if others try to abuse your card, they only have limited access to your money.
If the results of the trial period come back positive, the new payment method will be implemented throughout the country in the course of 2013. This means that banks will have to change their payment systems and providers of parking meters will have to adjust their meters. Right now, the system operates with debit cards from all banks, except for cards from Rabobank. People with a bank account at Rabobank won’t be able to pay for parking with the new system. Therefor it will still be possible to pay for parking with other electronic payment methods.
I wonder what the Dutch people think of this new payment method. I asked around in my social circle about paying for parking. It seems that, here in the south of the Netherlands, most people still pay the old fashion way: Put some coins in the meter and place the printed ticket on the dashboard of your car. I am talking about the on-street parking situation now. In parking garages I must say it is getting more and more accepted to pay with your debit card, but especially older people still pay with the loose change they find in their pocket. I checked the Parkmobile website and noticed that from December 5th, they will offer their pay-by-phone method around where I live. I'll be sure to give it a try!