Talking tech since 2003

When Apple announced Apple Pay in September, the overall implications were immediately evident: mobile payments would take off in a big way with Apple’s muscle behind it. Now it seems that one of the world’s biggest municipalities – New York City – may embrace Apple Pay and other mobile payment methods for folks to pay ordinary parking tickets immediately.

The news comes by way of a report on MarketWatch, which says that New York City’s finance department is looking into implementing a system to accept Apple Pay, Paypal, Bitcoin, and maybe others, for citizens who receive parking tickets. The post adds that despite the fact that the City accepts online payments via its website, the site isn’t optimized for mobile browsers, and it also charges a 2.5 percent convenience fee. If it were to start accepting the aforementioned mobile payment methods, the City would likely save citizens the late fees that accompany tickets now given the difficulty of paying them off.

In all, accepting Apple Pay, Paypal (and likely Google Wallet, though it’s not mentioned in the article) would go a long way toward helping people pay these tickets before the late fees really start to rack up. However, there’s really no reason that New York City can’t also simply update its payment system anyway. If it wants to help citizens pay their tickets more quickly, hire a web designer to fix the broken website. Kill the “convenience fee” that comes with online payment – especially since it’s a bogus fee that likely covers no correlating cost for the City. It’s just another way for New York to nickel and dime its citizens.

In short, yes, it’d be great if New York City added Apple Pay and the rest to its payment methods. The article points out that right now the City has no actual concrete plan, only that it’s got a Request for Information, or RFI, that’s due on January 15, at which point it’ll review the different suggestions for implementing these mobile payment options. Until it actually makes a decision, citizens will just have to deal with the current inefficient system for paying tickets. Or, you know, make sure they don’t park illegally.

[Source: MarketWatch]

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