PayByPhone, an app for both iOS and Android that allows for mobile parking payment, announced Thursday that it is adding support for Apple Pay on iOS devices. If you spend a lot of time travelling or looking for parking in a downtown area for business, this overhaul is one that could make life—and work—easier.
If you've been living in a big city for very long, you've probably noticed something interesting in the streets: The parking meters are changing. First to appear were the credit card slots, then there were apps like PayByPhone that allowed you to park without even having to touch the meter. Just add a credit card to the app, give it the parking space number that's listed on the meter, and you're all set. Definitely a welcomed change for those tired of fishing in their cupholders, pockets, and purses for change.
Apple Pay won't just make using PayByPhone more convenient, but it also adds an additional layer of security for those concerned about identity theft or credit card fraud. If credit card microtransactions make you hesitate to use services this is the change you've been waiting for.
Apple Pay and Android Pay both act like a middleman who handles your money. They use a unique device account number that acts as your payment ID, and each transaction uses a one-time code that's only good for that purchase. All you have to do is put in a pin or use your fingerprint and that's it.
SEE: Apple Pay: The smart person's guide (TechRepublic)
Apple Pay isn't the only thing changing about PayByPhone. There are a lot of impressive features coming out with the new release that are sure to make your parking experience a simple one.
PayByPhone features a timer that will alert you when your parking time is almost expired, and will allow you to top off right from your current location. Ever been stuck in a business meeting when your meter was about to run out? Not a concern anymore.
GPS tracking is already present in the app, but the new version of PayByPhone will make locations services much more valuable. Now you'll be able to see traffic alerts and other local happenings that could affect your travel, all without having to switch to an app like Waze or Google Maps.
The new dynamic home screen, which is designed to change based on your location and activity, will also allow you to reserve parking for events like conventions, concerts, and others that could leave you scrambling for a place to leave your vehicle. If you're already investing time and money in an IT or tech convention, you can now also be sure you have a parking space that's waiting for you.
Parking profiles can be set up to give custom parking rates to handicapped drivers. Don't worry about fraud in this case—there will be a database set up that tracks parking profile users.
The 3 big takeaways for TechRepublic readers
- Apple Pay, Android Pay, and PayPal all offer an extra layer of security for digital transactions. With more and more small sales taking place digitally you'll want to be sure that you're doing all you can to protect yourself, and PayByPhone is making sure you can do just that.
- PayByPhone's new features are just another way in which apps are tracking your every move. For some of us that's not a big deal, but if you're concerned about your privacy you may want to think twice about the benefits of cash-free parking.
- Business travel requires expense tracking, and sometimes even the smallest transactions are important. Apple Pay integration gives you an easier way to track expenses and report them—definitely a plus for the budget-conscious road warrior.
How to free up iPhone data and iCloud storage (TechRepublic)
How Apple Pay and Google Wallet actually work (Ars Technica)
Brandon Vigliarolo has nothing to disclose. He does not hold investments in the technology companies he covers.
Brandon writes about apps and software for TechRepublic. He's an award-winning feature writer who previously worked as an IT professional and served as an MP in the US Army.