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ParkNow – An interview with a parking innovator

Parking remains a point of daily frustration for many motorists. Appealing to this pain, the ParkNow parking app promises to use technology to help make the parking experience a much more enjoyable one. As part of our regular interview series in which we dig beneath the surface of innovative mobility-related start-ups and companies, we spoke with Julia Frank, Marketing Communications Manager at ParkNow, to learn more about the app, including how it works, why it’s different, and what it targets in the future.

Copyright: ParkNow
Copyright: ParkNow

We are curious to learn more about ParkNow. Please share some insights into it.

ParkNow is redefining parking. It aims to make parking easy and stress-free by eliminating the hassle of finding change to pay for parking, be it on the street in paid parking zones or in car parks. With the ParkNow app, users can park their car in pay-to-park areas without having to buy a normal parking ticket. A detailed overview of all parking zones can be found on the map and the app directs you to the parking zone. ParkNow can be used for on-street parking. Easily start and end the parking time on the app, saving you the hassle of going to the parking ticket machines and looking for change. Alternatively, the digital service can be used to access car parks: the gate opens automatically through license plate recognition or with the car park access card. All usage is then invoiced at once, at the end of each month. 

The service makes parking incredibly convenient and is easy to use. Simply open the app and, with one click, activate the parking ticket. No need to go out of your way to find a parking ticket machine!

What are the benefits of paying with the ParkNow app?

ParkNow offers so many advantages. For example, you no longer need to hunt for coins to feed the parking ticket machines. And you don’t have to estimate in advance how long you’ll park somewhere. With ParkNow, you only pay for the exact length of time you park, so you never overpay, which saves you money. No more unnecessary fees, no more parking tickets. Also, entering or leaving a car park no longer requires a car park ticket or coins. ParkNow automatically collects all parking costs paid for by credit card, bank account or PayPal. A statement of all parking transactions is provided at the end of each month.

Copyright: ParkNow
Copyright: ParkNow

ParkNow is a subsidiary of BMW. Is the solution also transferable to vehicles from other manufacturers?

Yes, ParkNow is an open platform and offers its service to all car manufacturers. The level of integration and the precise use cases covered depend on the technology a car manufacturer provides.

How does on-street parking work and how does the traffic warden know I parked my car with ParkNow?

You simply park the car, open the ParkNow app and click start. You can either define the length of time you’ll park in advance, or start and end your parking session in real-time. A special control system allows the traffic warden to do real-time checks based on the number plate. In cities such as Berlin, Cologne and Hamburg, you must also get a parking sticker for on-street parking and clearly display it in the windscreen of your car. Alternatively, a note with ‘ParkNow Handyparken’ (ParkNow mobile parking) can be placed visibly in the windscreen.

Your service is currently available in over 80 cities in Germany and Austria. What are your plans for the future?

Our plans are to offer all-area usage of ParkNow in Germany and Austria, creating a cashless, ticketless and hassle-free parking experience for all motorists.

Many parking apps with online payment solutions have been on the market for years now. How do you differentiate from competitors?

We offer both on-street and off-street parking solutions in over 80 cities in Germany and Austria. Registering with ParkNow is free, and our services are clear and transparent for every user. Now it’s also possible to access ParkNow via BMW ConnectedDrive in cars with Navigation System Professional. We are the first, and currently sole, provider in German to offer this in-car solution.

Thanks a lot for sharing your insights with us. We are looking forward to hearing more about ParkNow soon!

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