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Modernizing the mobile payment parking process!

Photo of Emily Cleary
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In 2008, Miami became the first major U.S. city to start accepting mobile payments for parking. The Miami Parking Authority was a catalyst for transitioning the parking experience from meter to mobile.

Although Miami-Dade County helped catapult a shift from traditional to digital payment, there are some challenges when it comes to mobile payment parking apps. There are several mobile payment parking apps in Miami and greater South Florida, and multiple municipalities that should work together but currently do not. PayByPhone dominates the MPP app industry in Miami, but it is not the only app (ParkMobile is another popular one in Miami).

Within the MPP apps, there are pain points that can be addressed. Initially, I chose to create a parking app because of my own pain point when it comes to mobile payments parking (MPP) apps: because multiple municipalities use different apps, I found myself consistently having to download new apps just to park! More often than not, my experience using mobile parking payment apps was unpleasant. 

After conducting tons of qualitative and quantitative research, I found that MPP user's could empathize with my pain when it came to having to download multiple apps, but that was not their main frustration. By using the design thinking process, my MVP turned out to be modernization. Park would become the most modern mobile parking payment app by including specific features: automatic location zone population using GPS, license plate photo capture, SunPass detection and payment, and a Siri option.

Overall, Park currently provides innovative solutions to an ordinary task, and modernized a mundane and time consuming process. Although it is innovative, it still matches the user’s mental model which is of extreme importance. PARK solves the problem that many Miami drivers face!

As next steps, I'd like to offer PARK not only as a modern MPP app, but possibly an aggregate, all in one solution that allows users to search for different parking apps within PARK.

Describe who will use your solution (1,000 characters)

If you've ever parked in Miami, this one is for you! Based on qualitative and quantitative research I conducted, I identified my user persona: Parking Pam. What you need to know about Parking Pam: She is a 28 year old, single millennial living in Miami, working as a real estate agent and is also part time student. She is doing very well in real estate but she hates working on weekends and wants a job that interests her more. She has to drive constantly to meet her clients, and often needs to pay for street parking using mobile parking payment apps. Pam just got a new car, showed up to meet a client, and had to update her vehicle information in the MPP app she was using, which made her late to her appointment! She was frustrated and wished there was a quicker, more modern way to update her car information.

Describe your solution's stage of development

  • Prototype - you have built a prototype and tested it with potential users

Tell us about your team or organization (500 characters)

I created PARK as my final project while attending Ironhack's UX/UI Design program. I'm happy to say that PARK won Crowd Favorite during the Ironhack Miami Hackshow! Please see my portfolio for additional information: PARK Prototype:

Size of your team or organization

  • I am submitting as an individual

Funding Request

  • $100,000

Describe how you would pilot your idea (1000 characters)

I'd use the funding to create a team that will help continue testing, designing, and finally develop PARK, and then market it. I'd begin to create partnerships, specifically with the Miami Parking Authority and possibly other parking apps, if PARK turns into an aggregate service.

Describe how you would measure the success of your pilot (1000 characters)

Business metrics that would help me understand Park's success include increased customer acquisition and retention as well as positive reviews. The Miami Parking Authority approving and implementing the Park application as an all in one solution would be the ultimate success!


Join the conversation:

Photo of Nicole Alvarez De Ona

Emily Cleary  While some of these features are useful, the parking apps are catching up. ParkMobile already detects your location and provides the correct zone number. However, none of the apps let me edit parking info once I've paid for parking. I.e., should I incorrectly select the wrong vehicle (& I'm apt to do this when in a rush) and then pay for parking, neither app allows me to easily and retroactively fix this. <- IMO, that would improve the parking apps as it saves me from having to contact the app directly to get it fixed. Something to consider!

Photo of Emily Cleary

Thanks for your feedback Nicole! I agree that some of the apps are catching up, however, the dominant Miami parking app PayByPhone still doesn't automatically populate the zone number based on location which is not ideal for users. I'm glad that Park Mobile does a better job with that!

Regarding editing the parking information once paid for, I came across your experience during my initial research! Most people I surveyed and interviewed didn't mention this, so it didn't make the MVP prototype, but I completely agree that this feature would be exponential and a sure differentiator. It is part of PARK's future feature plan :)

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