Bigfork developed Pay 4 Bay for National Parking Enforcement (NPE).
National Parking Enforcement previously ran their sites using a third-party parking provider. However the increasing fees eating into their margins meant something else was needed. In this case the most effective solution was to develop a bespoke digital product.
We started off by working with NPE to understand how their existing solution worked and how their sites and tariffs operated. This was essential to give us a strong insight into what we needed to achieve, and where we could improve things.
For example, customers were frustrated at having to download yet another parking app, so we decided to make Pay 4 Bay a web-based digital product. As well as not requiring any downloads, this meant we could make it fast, lightweight, and with lower development costs.
NPE also needed something very flexible. They operate sites on behalf of their clients, and their clients all have different requirements. So, the ability to manage tariffs that have a variety of “rules” attached, was key to success.
Lastly, it had to be designed for mobile first, as we don't expect people will be using desktop PCs in a car park.
The project started off with a detailed specification. As part of this we documented all the possible tariffs and parking scenarios and made sure that every eventuality was covered.
We also developed wireframes to test out customer journeys and refined this alongside the client. The idea was to make sure the process covered everything as quickly as possible, without being overly complex. Our final prototypes were user tested, and the winning version was a clear step-by-step process of:
- Enter location code
- Enter registration
- Select a tariff
- Select extras (email receipt and email / SMS reminders)
We experimented with fewer steps but found people missed important information during testing. Also, by having slightly more steps, most screens fit on a mobile without scrolling, which made it feel more app-like.
National Parking Enforcement have full control over the day-to-day management of Pay 4 Bay.
They can add new locations, define rates and admin fees, set opening times, and configure roll-over parking and if people can park overnight.
Tariffs can be defined for each location and restricted to certain days and times. Top-up and no-return rules can also be applied at a location level, depending on the rules for that location.
The system also generates full transaction reports that can be filtered by site and date and exported to CSV for analysis and bookkeeping.
For payments, we know that a bad payment experience can ruin a website. With this in mind, we chose Stripe because of its user-friendly interface and native support for Apple Pay and Google Pay which have proved very popular options. It also has low transaction fees which is a plus for the client.
Customer satisfaction is very important as unhappy customers don’t return to bad car parks. All bookings instantly integrate with NPEs parking enforcement system via an API, which means there is no risk of erroneous parking fines.
Pay 4 Bay is a highly scalable digital product that NPE fully own and has already more than covered its development costs.
At present processes in excess of 8,000 parking transactions each month, across over 50 locations, and continues to grow as more locations are added to the system.
The client is very pleased with Pay 4 Bay, and we are continuing to work with them on adding new features and functionality.
- 1 November 2022