Tips for implementing contactless payment for parking systems in Ireland.
For more than 20 years we have been assisting countless parking managers and owners through the process of upgrading their car park or implementing credit card payment.
We know how daunting it can be when you encounter terms and jargon you may not be familiar with and it can make the whole process difficult to understand.
That’s why we’ve put together a “How to guide” to teach you what you need to know to implement cashless payment and hopefully simplify the process.
In this guide, we explain the technical terms you need to know on the required hardware as well as setting up the banking side.
You will of course need to speak to a parking specialist to implement this system but the process and terms of reference will be familiar to you after reading this guide allowing you to hopefully be more confident in your discussions around what solution may work best for you.
We hope it helps.
How to implement cashless payments in parking systems.
The following is the list of required components you’ll need when upgrading the car park system:
1. Parking system hardware
Whether ticket-based, fixed fee parking or Pay and Display machine.
2. Payment module
Required to accept payment along with mounting plates and fittings to adapt it to the existing equipment. This may just be a contactless module or combine a PIN pad.
3. PSP Account (Payment Service Provider)
You will need to set up a PSP account.
4. MAA Account (Merchant Acquiring Account)
You will need to set up a Merchant Acquiring Account.
Please note: Payments for car parking systems are classified as ‘Unattended’.
There are two types of payment hardware to consider:
- Non CVM (Customer Verification Mode)
This is the “Contactless” or card insert payment where no PIN is required and the customer’s bank guarantees the payment.
The value of the transaction is limited to the current “Contactless” payment limit which was raised to €50.00 in the Republic of Ireland and £45.00 in Northern Ireland in 2020. This is often called “Tap and Go”.
With “Apple Pay” and “Google Pay” this limit in most cases is “unlimited” when full CVM hardware is installed..
- Full CVM (Customer Verification Mode)
This transaction requires a PIN input to complete the transaction and does not have an upper limit due to the increased security.
Please note: Depending on the nature of the car park fees it may be adequate only to have Non CVM payment but if monthly or season parking tickets are sold or the daily fees are very high it may be necessary to install full CVM hardware on some or all Pay Stations but note that the full CVM hardware is physically larger.
Parking System Hardware Options:
Ticket based hourly charge car parks –“Pay on Foot” systems.
Depending on the age of an existing parking system, most manufacturers support upgrades to allow cashless payment.
Ticket based systems from DESIGNA, Ski Data, Zeag, HUB, FAAC, Parkare, and Amano systems can be upgraded.
This usually requires software upgrade to the latest PCI DSS 5 (The PCI Security Standards Council’s mission is to enhance global payment account data security by developing standards and supporting services that drive education, awareness, and effective implementation by stakeholders and dictates international security standards).
In addition to software upgrades, there will be a need to purchase credit/debit card hardware compatible with the parking system which will take the payment.
This hardware has to be both compatible and certified by the parking system manufacturer as well as with the PSP and Acquiring Bank.
There is a strong interdependency in this area and it starts with the parking owner deciding on the Acquiring Bank who will process the payment as that dictates what PSP and hardware combinations can be made available for taking the payment.
Pay & Display Machines
Most On Street parking machines are solar-powered and engineered to operate with minimal energy consumption.
Manufacturers with installations in Ireland include CALE, Parkeon, Flow Bird, Metric, ATB, Parkare, IPS, IEM, Hectronic, WSA.
Please note: Many existing machines are not economically viable to upgrade to accept credit cards.
Fixed Fee and Token Operated Parking Systems
Fixed fee parking systems with payment on entry or at exit can be easily upgraded to taking credit or debit card payments.
Several manufacturers offer a small credit card reader with an inbuilt Data only SIM card which can be easily retrofitted to the existing pay station, whether it be from Blue Wall Technologies, Beckmann, BFT, BPT, Beninca, CAME, FAAC, Fadini, EA Electro Automation, Trip Wire, Advances Access, Parkare, UTS Global, MF Services.
Chip/Pin and contactless payment module
Card payment processing for parking is a niche payment market that only some providers have addressed.
This is due to the significant investment required for the PSP to become certified with the Acquiring bank and also due to the testing of interfaces with individual parking manufacturers.
Parking Systems Providers
In Ireland the main providers in the parking market are:
Main hardware suppliers to the Irish market:
Main PSP providers:
- ADVAM – TNS
- Credit Call – NMI
Principal Acquiring Banks (Merchants) associated with parking:
- AIB Merchant Services
Setting up PSP and Merchant Accounts:
Due to current banking regulations be aware that setting up the Merchant and PSP accounts will take time if you do not already have a Merchant Account in place.
Significant personal details are required to meet regulations to prove the legitimacy of the owners.
The process can be far faster if you already have a Merchant Acquiring Account.
PSP providers are making good inroads to speed the process of setting up combined accounts, so for example, if you have an existing Elavon Card Present Account you can add a CCV PSP account via their portal.
CCV payment services are also able to provide you with a combined PSP & Acquiring agreement together with an international acquirer using pre-agreed rates established specifically for the parking sector.
We are here to assist you.
Now that you have a better understanding of what is required when the time comes to upgrade your parking systems you should now be much more confident to begin discussing how best to implement your upgrade. Please feel free to contact us at any time if you would like to begin the process or if you have any further questions relating to what would work best for you.
Who are we?
We are Blue Wall Technologies and we install, maintain, and service ticket based hourly and fixed charge parking systems throughout Ireland.
We install smart cashless parking solutions for any application and have worked with clients including APCOA, Best Car Parks, Euro Car Parks, ParkRite, Q-Park as well as Dublin Airport Authority, Dundrum Town Centre, and Jervis Shopping Centre to upgrade their charge parking systems to the latest PCI DSS 5 standards.
We currently have many installations in Belfast, Dublin, Dundalk, Northern Ireland including Armagh, Antrim, Belfast, Cork, Cavan, Derry, Drogheda, Donegal, Dungarvan, Ennis, Enniscorthy, Enniskillen, Galway, Gorey, Killarney, Kilkenny, Limerick, Omagh, Newry, Lisburn, Mullingar, Portlaoise, Tipperary, Thurles, Tralee, Tuam, Sligo, Waterford, Wexford, and Wicklow.
Are you ready for an upgrade?
If you would like to enquire about upgrading or installing a new parking system you can contact one of our specialist on any of the following numbers:
- Dublin: Tel. 01 478 8857
- Waterford: Tel. 051 372828
- NI: Tel. 028 942 40 000
Or email us at: [email protected]
Testimonial from a Drury Street Underground car park.
Drury Underground Car Park has worked with Blue Wall DESIGNA for over twenty years and when we decided it was time we offered credit card payment at our automatic pay station, Roger McClure and the Blue Wall team guided us through the process of setting up PSP and Merchant accounts and the process was easy.
Director, Croftville Properties
(Operators Drury Underground Car Park)