Securing Trust - The key to smartphone-based car parking solutions

Securing trust

Over recent years, a range of technologies have been deployed within the car parking sector in pursuit of improved service and profitability. However, for many motorists, the experience remains fraught with difficulty and delay. Long queues on entry and exit, lost tickets, the struggle to find the correct change for terminals, and technical issues, are all high on the list of common complaints. And all this assumes that the driver has even been able to find a space in the first place.

At Gemalto, we believe the heart of a comprehensive, long-term answer to these issues lies in leveraging the power and ubiquity of the smartphone. With the right infrastructure in place, devices that are routinely carried everywhere can be utilized to remove the hassles and frustrations that still dog the journey to and from a parking space. Such solutions can also bring together all the relevant stakeholders – including customers, operators and enterprises served by car parks – and add real value to the end user experience.

Integrated mobile apps will not only guide drivers to the nearest available space; they can replace the frustration and inefficiency of issuing and redeeming traditional paper tickets with a simple tap of an NFC smartphone on a reader to register entry and exit and enable swift and seamless digital payment. Furthermore, by establishing a real time channel of communication with the driver, a rich mix of new commercial opportunities emerges.

To make this vision a reality, the infrastructure must be as trusted as it is convenient. Whilst there is clearly a strong desire amongst consumers to manage everyday life via their smartphone, there is equally widespread concern over the security of online domains. Barely a week goes by without media headlines highlighting sophisticated cyber-attacks that have compromised personal and sensitive data. Before committing to new applications that exploit 24/7 connectivity, end users and enterprises alike need complete confidence in the integrity of any information shared.

mobile phoneAs a world leader in digital security, and with experience that extends across the mobile communications, financial services, transportation and retail sectors, Gemalto is ideally positioned to implement and manage a new generation of parking solutions.

More than simply a technology provider, Gemalto can act as a TSM (Trusted Service Manager) and business aggregator to both define and deliver the right solution for each application. This is critical in the parking industry, as sites typically serve an extended business community that can include shops, restaurants, hotels, entertainment venues and transportation links. Gemalto are able to forge hubs that draw such stakeholders together, ensuring that parking looks beyond short term rental of a few square meters of tarmac to become a platform for sophisticated marketing initiatives such as loyalty and reward programs.

With Gemalto, the vital task of managing personal data is achieved via the use of ‘digital vaults’ such as SIMs and eSEs (embedded Secure Elements) that are a feature of every smartphone and provide the robust security necessary for transactions such as payments and authentication, as well as the storage of sensitive data. Gemalto is completely agnostic in terms of the secure element deployed and can also manage TEEs (Trusted Executive Environments) to secure HCE (Host Card Emulation) architecture. Combined with the company’s capabilities in the field of NFC, which is rapidly becoming a standard feature on all smartphones, the potential to create sophisticated, end-to-end car park management solutions becomes apparent.

Mobile phone

For end users, this would be reflected in a dedicated mobile app that identifies the nearest car park and the number of free spaces available, and supports seamless entry and exit with a quick tap of the phone. Here it should be stressed that NFC is not dependent on a GSM signal (so no issues for underground facilities), and will still operate if the phone is out of charge. In addition, because banking credentials can be housed on the secure element, mobile payment to the operator direct from a phone handset is also an option. Alternatively, dedicated NFC payment cards can be deployed. Either way, the inconvenience, inefficiency and insecurity associated with operating remote payment terminals is eliminated.

Alongside the compelling benefits of the car parking process itself, this approach opens the door to a host of imaginative, value added services: booking and payment in advance, the chance to automatically credit customers with loyalty points and, with the end user’s permission, allow associated enterprises to issue digital discount vouchers precisely when and where they are most relevant to the recipient.

With smartphones very much center stage in modern life, there can be little doubt that consumers are ready to adopt solutions built around them. The key lies in securing absolute trust from day one. For parking operators, the potential is even more exciting, promising to not only transform the parking experience, but also create a completely new business model that enhances service standards, improves efficiency and creates additional revenue streams.

About GemaltoGemalto logo

Gemalto enables organizations to offer trusted and convenient digital services to billions of individuals.

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