One of my favorite places in Atlanta to visit is the square in Downtown Decatur, which has lots of unique places to eat and shop. However, one of my least favorite things sometimes about visiting the City of Decatur is parking. Inevitably when I find an open spot on the street, I never have enough coins to fill the meter! But thanks to the emerging mobile payments industry, this is about to change.
Over on the City of Decatur’s blog is a recent post about new parking meters being installed that will allow people to pay using their cell phone. Coincidentally, IDology spoke (along with our friends at Obopay) about keeping mobile payments secure at a NACHA conference earlier this month, so when I saw this news, I was struck by how close to home mobile payments is hitting. I think it’s a brilliant way to get people more comfortable with making mobile payments because it involves small $$ increments that won’t frighten consumers away from trying it and there is a great deal of practicality in the application.
The City of Decatur is known for being a progressive municipality so it doesn’t surprise me that it’s the first municipality to test the Pay-by-Cell service. And I’m certain it won’t be the last.