Boku, a mobile billing platform, has teamed up with Passport Parking to provide users the ability to pay for parking via SMS. Simply by pulling into a space and texting the number provided, your cell phone bill will reflect any parking charges you incur.
The program is not yet available to everyone, as trials are being conducted in various cities. No major metropolitan area is currently being tested — Denver is the largest city in the trial — so it’s unclear just how far-reaching this will be. It’s also limited to those cities with Passport Meters, which looks to be a wholly different program than the normal pay-to-park we’re used to.
The way it works is fairly simple, even if it doesn’t reach you yet. Drivers pull into a spot, and text the number displayed (probably on signs throughout the structure/lot) with your space number. It asks for authentication to prove it’s you, and you’re on your way. What we still don’t quite know is if it’s open billing, or if you pay for a determined amount of time.
However it ends up working — if it does — SMS could be the best option for mobile payments. With Google Wallet still floundering, and other mobile solutions like Isis creeping out, something as simple as SMS works for everyone. Boku currently works with big names such as EA and Facebook, but we hope that doesn't mean we have to "Like" our parking space, too.