Toronto-based HonkMobile is teaming up with Apple to allow Honk users with an iOS device to pay for parking with Apple Pay. Today’s announcement gives users across North America another secure and private way to pay parking fees directly from their iPhone or iPad.
Honk’s pay-for-parking app eliminates the need for loose change and credit cards when paying for a metered parking space. The company is no stranger to modern payment solutions as HonkMobile was one of the first companies in Canada to accept Masterpass.
HonkMobile CEO Michael Back says they’re committed to reducing the “friction in payment” by ensuring consumers have a range of payment choices.
“Whichever way people want to pay, is the way we want to accept payments. Today, that’s Apple Pay. Tomorrow, who knows,” says Back, who founded the company in 2013. “What Masterpass, PayPal and now Apple Pay enable consumers to do is choose one place where their payment information is stored with a company they trust.”
The startup app’s cloud-based technology allows users to find and pay for parking from any internet connected device. Honk aggregates all parking types—underground, street-level, above ground and roof-top parking—into one app. Its customers include universities, municipalities, commercial lots and private real estate.
Users can also reserve spots through the app (participating lots now have Honk-only spots) before they leave their home to avoid driving around in circles minutes before a meeting or a ball game looking for a place to leave their car. And when a parking session is close to expiring, customers are sent a 15-minute warning to top up time and avoid a costly ticket.
Municipality-run apps don’t help users search and book a parking spot or compare prices for the cheapest option. Back calls these city-specific parking apps a “parking meter in a pocket.”
“As much as parking exists, consumers don’t know where it exists, where it’s available, and how much it costs. That’s why Honk was created,” he says. “Honk is not a payment device. We see it as so much more. It includes inventory, pricing and availability.”
While Honk is making a convincing pitch for hassle-free parking, its CEO already has his eyes set to the future.
“If you think of the future of autonomous vehicles, connected cars, smart cities…that’s what we’ve been building Honk on the basis of,” says Back.
Honk is currently accepted at over 800 locations and 150,000 parking spaces across Canada and the United States. The app is free to download on both iOS and Android devices.