Volkswagen targets mobile payments business with parking service deal

PARK LIFE: PayByPhone service allows drivers to park and go just using their mobile phones

Volkswagen Financial Services AG, the financial services division of German vehicle manufacturer Volkswagen Group, has bought mobile payment platform PayByPhone to “highly increase” its involvement in mobile payments around the world and to establish a “separate business field around the theme of parking”.

“At the moment, parking procedures and their billing are often cumbersome, time-consuming and a sore point in many cities throughout Europe and the world,” says Christian Dahlheim from Volkswagen Financial Services AG.

“We want to offer our customers a convenient digital solution that makes parking and its billing much easier.

“With our acquisition of PayByPhone, we are now the leading provider for the processing and mobile payment of parking procedures. In the future, we will be bundling this know-how in a separate business field around the theme of parking.”

PayByPhone currently operates in Canada, Australia, France, Switzerland, the UK and the US. The service lets customers select their specific parking area and desired parking time on their mobile phone, and complete payment using a linked debit or credit card or through Apple Pay and Android Pay.

“With the acquisition of PayByPhone, the mobile billing of parking processes will be expanded internationally,” Volkswagen says.

Payments agenda

“This is a tremendous opportunity for PayByPhone to explore new ways to expand our mobile payments technology into different verticals, markets and use cases,” says PayByPhone CEO Kush Parikh.

“The mobile payment movement has exploded recently, and we look forward to accelerating our consumer parking and payments agenda made possible by this deal.”

PayByPhone processed roughly 60m transactions with a total volume of about €240m (US$249.7m) in 2016. It has 12.5m registered users and is adding 7,000 new users a day, according to the company. The acquisition follows Volkswagen Financial Services AG acquiring a 92% shareholding in cashless payment solutions for parking provider Sunhill Technologies in 2015.

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