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IPS Group (IPS) has developed a mobile payment application that can help drivers locate a parking space while en route and, via real-time notifications alert users in advance of parking expiration.

The app also features a simple but secure sign-in process and is linked to Visa’s online payment platform. The Park Smarter app was launched on the North American market at the IPI Conference in New Orleans at the end of May.

“Using mobile apps to manage parking transactions has become commonplace, but so has the complexity and lack of user engagement,” said Chad Randall, chief operating officer of California-based IPS Group. “We have designed Park Smarter to be easy to use, but flexible in capability in order to stay ahead of the curve of what’s possible from a mobile payment application. Users can pay, receive real-time expiration notifications and extend a parking session remotely from the convenience of their smartphone. However, it’s the additional features that will make this application stand out.”

For example, the app’s Parking Finder tool helps the user locate available parking before circling the block in search of a space. “The Parking Finder tool also works with IPS sensors to provide the most accurate and up-to-date information on space availability,” said Randall.

The parking systems developer has also worked on simplifying how the app is activated. Users log in via a single sign-on (SSO) function that using the same credentials used as social networking sites.

The app is linked into the Visa Checkout service, said Randall. “Payment with Park Smarter is made via Visa Checkout, which enables users to pay for parking using only a username and password, eliminating the need to enter card information or billing address in the app.

The app also offers a local merchant rewards program that combines opportunities for businesses to engage directly with consumers. “Park Smarter is the only mobile parking app using the Visa Commerce Network,” said Randall. “The app will include special promotional offers for enrolled US Visa cardholders at local merchants.

Park Smarter complements IPS’s integrated suite of smart parking solutions. “With its integration with the IPS Data Management System (DMS) cities can manage parking policy with live alerts, reporting and data analytics across both meters and the mobile app,” said Randall.

IPS Group is a design, engineering and manufacturing company focused on low-power wireless telecommunications, payment processing systems, intelligent data management and software-as-a-service (SaaS) technologies. IPS is headquartered in San Diego, California, and has offices across North America and Europe. Its parking solutions include single-space and multi-space pay stations, pay-station upgrade kits, vehicle detection sensors, smart cash collection systems, mobile applications, enforcement and permitting solutions, hosted data management software with advanced data analytics, and more.

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