Passengers use mobiles for station car parking

Rail operator c2c has started trials of cashless payment at three of its station car parks, enabling passengers to purchase parking tickets using their mobile phone.
The three-month trial started on Monday at Upminster, Leigh-on-Sea and Laindon stations in Essex. If it proves a success it will be introduced to all c2c stations.

Passengers can call through or text their credit card details, car registration number, the length of stay and a four-digit code to a central number.

Subsequent calls simply require the length of stay and location number. Charges are automatically billed to users credit cards, with a small fee added.

We want to make parking as easy as possible for passengers and this can save customers the aggravation of getting parking tickets because they can now renew a ticket if they are unable to get back before it expires, said a c2c spokesman.

The technology, managed centrally by supplier Verrus, sends a text reminder when tickets are about to expire and passengers can manage accounts online.

Frost & Sullivan analyst Anoop Ubhey says that the success of the trial will depend on its ease of use, convenience and speed of the transaction.

But he says use of mobiles to purchase goods will continue to rise, particularly with the near-field technology, which allows users to interact with a reader for automatic purchase.
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