A Look Across the Pond: How Europe is Pioneering the Open Market Model For Parking

A Look Across the Pond: How Europe is Pioneering the Open Market Model For Parking

Europe is At the Forefront of Parking Innovation

In the parking management industry, no part of the world is more adept at changing the game and moving to the forefront of innovation than Europe

There are pros and cons to being innovators and pioneers in a field, but when it comes to parking, the Europeans have already done all of the heavy lifting. The US should look to Europe, which has pioneered the open market model and experience the incredible benefits. Across the globe, there’s a growing trend to adopt this approach. 

European cities have adopted the open market approach, allowing various parking apps to vie for users. This model lets drivers select their favorite app for parking payments, promoting competition, innovation, and improved user experiences.

How the Open Market Model Works

The open market model is an approach to parking payments that allows multiple parking apps to compete for users’ business within a municipality. This approach encourages healthy competition and allows parkers to choose their preferred parking app. 

One of the biggest positives associated with the open market model is that it allows parkers visiting new places to easily mitigate the inconvenience of downloading multiple different parking apps. 

Studies have shown that 63 percent of people only have one parking app downloaded onto their phone. Additionally, 83 percent of people only want to download a single parking app if possible. Operators must track customer parking behaviors, wants, and needs to create the best experience for all parties.

When a person travels to a new city and doesn’t have the necessary parking app to pay for a parking space, trouble can ensue. Usually, they either decide to forgo a mobile payment and look for a meter, take their chances and violate the payment rules, or decide to look elsewhere where their preferred app will be accepted. 

Person using a mobile parking app

This quandary results in frustrated customers, lost parking revenue, reduced tourism, and fewer data insights.

Exploring the Benefits

The open market model has greatly benefited parkers, parking operators, and municipalities alike. 

Customers experience faster payment transaction times, less “car park anxiety,” and the convenience of not having to download a new parking app. 

Parking operators experience lower operating costs, decreased cash slippage, and increased customer satisfaction. This helps out their business’s bottom line while increasing tourism and boosting the local economy of the municipality.

Copenhagen, the Capital of Denmark

Copenhagen has embraced the open market model to great success. Originally, in the early 2000s, the city tried a mobile parking system to disastrous results. Copenhagen changed its strategy in the 2010s by moving to an open market approach.

This new era of choice for users led to healthy competition within the parking industry, turning Copenhagen into a beacon of multi-vendor parking success. Eventually, traditional parking meters were phased out in the city, and within two years of shifting to the open market approach, mobile payment usage rates soared to over 50 percent.

The United Kingdom

The United Kingdom has also introduced the open market model to success. With various parking apps to choose from and seamless payments, the UK has fostered a parking ecosystem that prioritizes user convenience and accessibility.

The success of parking platforms such as RingGo and others in the UK is a testament to embracing open market parking solutions and transitioning to a digital enterprise. In May 2021, cash accounted for over 80% of all parking payments, but by July 2022  – with the acceptance of the open market approach – parking meters collect less than 50% of total parking revenue. 

Shot of a street in London

Embrace the Open Market With CurbTrac

Adopting the open market approach is the right move, but it requires some planning and forethought before the transition. Making the switch requires choosing the right technology to allow you to do so. CurbTrac from ParkHub is the best technology to start embracing the open market.

CurbTrac software offers a convenient and unified parking experience by consolidating different payment apps and platforms into a single database, allowing convenience for customers and parking operators. Using CurbTrac, some parking operators saw an increase in revenue of up to 316 percent.

Get Started With ParkHub and CurbTrac

To learn more about how CurbTrac and ParkHub can boost your parking revenue, improve the customer experience, generate in-depth data insights, and make your city a better place to live, book a free demo with ParkHub today and experience the ParkHub difference firsthand.

Posted by ParkHub on January 30, 2024