New York City’s Department of Finance is considering new options for paying parking tickets, including Bitcoin, Apple Pay and PayPal.
Such prospects, however, are only at their earliest stages of consideration. The Department submitted a Request for Information (RFI) on “Mobile Solutions for Payment and Hearing Scheduling of Parking Tickets.” The request is just to learn about these methods, a stage before they are actually considered.
The document illustrates how a mobile solution would be employed in the future:
“The motorist uses his or her phone to take a picture of the ticket; scan a barcode; and/or apply some other ‘single click’ option through which the phone captures ticket metadata.”
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One of the objectives would be to allow drivers to more easily pay for their ticket, doing so on the spot before it enters city’s system of record.
In addition, such a solution can potentially allow those ticketed to schedule court hearings via their phones.
The document states that the Department collects between $550-$600 million in annual revenues in base fines and penalties from 8-10 million parking tickets. An additional 1.5-2 million tickets go to court, processed either online, via mail or in person.
Currently, online payments via credit card are subject to a 2.49% convenience fee. The document lists as a consideration the fees levied by the technologies in question. Because of their fee structures, it is possible that residents will get a break when paying with Bitcoin. With PayPal and Apple Pay, this is less likely, the latter existing as an additional layer to the underlying credit card for payment.