Payments insight: The UK’s parking preferences

Posted: 19 October 2022 | | No comments yet

Parking is a €30.5 billion industry across Europe and is a vital resource for communities, retail, tourism and hospitality. If parking isn’t your main business, could the parking that you’re offering your customers be doing more to earn its keep? Read the latest research from payments experts Elavon to find out more.

Elavon parking

Across Europe, parking is an industry worth more than €30.5 billion per year, employing over half a million people and providing around 41 million spaces. It’s in every sector, from retail and tourism to healthcare and education. In fact, it’s hard to think of an industry where parking isn’t involved – much like payments!

“External factors – yes, including COVID-19 – have accelerated change that had long been in discussion as traveller volumes change and vacant parking bays increase. The impact of the growth in home working, regulatory changes promoting ‘cleaner mobility’ through car-sharing or cycling, and competitive pressures such as flexible car hire, has prompted wide-spread changes in parking payment strategies and a move towards Smart Parking,” said Patrick Doherty, Head of Emerging Markets at Elavon Europe.

To help its customers to understand what their customers want, Elavon surveyed 1,129 UK adults online, aged between 16 and 75, about their payment preferences when it comes to parking:

  • More than half (53 per cent) prefer to pay at a machine or barrier, whether paying by card or with cash
  • 28 per cent prefer to use a smart device – this could be through an app, sending a text or by making a call to pay by card
  • Almost a quarter (24 per cent) don’t pay for parking at all – we didn’t explore why, but reasons could include being too young to drive or having parking exemptions.

Paying by smart device

When it comes to paying using a smart device, the most popular method is a parking app, such as APCOA or NCP – 14 per cent said that it was their preferred way to pay.

One in ten (10 per cent) prefer using digital wallets, such as Apple Pay or PayPal, through smart phones or watches, while nine per cent prefer to scan a QR code to launch a payment app.

Payment by text (seven per cent) is almost twice as popular as making a call to pay by card (four per cent).

Read the full report from Elavon to find out more about these insights and how they may impact the future of the industry.




About Elavon

Elavon is a leading global payments company with more than 2,400 employees across Europe. A subsidiary of U.S. Bancorp, Elavon provides businesses with the technology needed to accept payments from customers, whether they are shopping in stores, at home or on the go.

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