New York City to Adopt Bitcoin for Parking Ticket Payments

New York City (NYC) collects more than $600 million in revenue annually from payment of parking tickets. The New York City Department of finance (DOF) recently issued a Request for Information (RFI) to find mobile solutions for payment of parking tickets. Among these mobile payments were Apple Pay, PayPal and bitcoin. NYC may not be the first municipality to adopt bitcoin in near future. Madeira Beach in Florida is allowing residents to pay for parking, buy fuel, etc. and make other purchases from public outlets starting in 2015.

The NYC DOF is seeking a mobile payment system that would make the payment of parking ticket as seamless as possible. The mobile payment solution will also come at zero or minimal costs to the user and the city, potentially giving bitcoin’s minor transaction fees an advantage in the competition. While the DOF is currently looking into more feasible payment systems, requesting descriptions of payment technologies that could work under these circumstances.

The DOF wants to know about the current state of mobile payments technologies. With this information, officials may eventually invite contractors to bid for a contract to build a system. The requirement would be of a system that allows mobile payment of up to ten million parking tickets issued in the city every year. The developed mobile app would allow payment with credit cards, automated clearing house (ACH) transfers, Apple Pay, PayPal, and even Bitcoin.

The NYC DOF is considering the following processes as optimal for the new system:

  • The ticket is issued through either a paper copy or through mail
  • The motorist in violation would then use their phone to either scan a barcode or take a picture of the ticket
  • The user is then directed to an interface that allows payment with minimal clicks
  • Upon making the payment, the motorist would be provided with a receipt