Digital Building Ecosystem( 7 of 13) : Cashless & Touchless Trend for Parking
Parking Management System and Parking Access System are two different concepts. Without parking fee collection, any parking barriers or boom gates set up to control car movements would fall under the parking access; it is a part of the access control system category. For example, most residential buildings in Malaysia do not collect parking fees, but parking fees are applied for both tenants and visitors for commercial buildings. In short, Parking Management System is a Parking Access System with an added Payment System. But in a larger perspective, the Parking System is just one of the major components of the Digital Building Ecosystem, be it collecting parking fees or not.
"When we travelled to Indonesia for a residential community project, the developer told us that their community is still using guards to collect cash for parking and manually issuing the receipts. When I frowned a bit, his assistant interjected, 'our guards are trustable.' His boss smiled at the statement and said, “You wouldn't know." Teh Hon Seng, the CEO of TimeTec Group, recalled his visit to Jakarta in late 2019.
|Teh Hon Seng, CEO of TimeTec Group|
"Then I learned that a parking bay is normally not part and parcel for house buyers in Indonesia, and I realized that parking management system is one of the main concerns for developers in Indonesia for the entire digital smart building project."
In fact, the manual parking system has already long gone in Malaysia, replaced by automated ticket dispensers and cash payment terminals in most of the parking sites for the past two decades. Currently, the parking management system is at another crossroad, in the midst of digital transformation towards cashless and touchless parking.
"We were active in the access control market for the past twenty years; hence parking access was not new to us. To complete our Digital Building Ecosystem, and at the same time to grab the opportunity for the parking transformation, we ventured and started the development of a cloud parking management system four years ago. Unlike ticket and cash, one method for all users, very straightforward; for cashless and touchless, we have to take care of multiple methods, mix and match, because there is simply no single method perfectly fit for our unique environment. For example, when mentioning cashless, we have Touch 'n Go TNG card, credit card, debit card, eWallet; each one has its supporters. To accommodate users from having to go to the central payment machine to pay their parking fees before exiting, the cashless methods have to be installed and integrated with the parking access system at the entry and exit points. And, that adds a complication to a parking system."
Teh pointed out, "All of these payment methods achieve a cashless objective. But, when it comes to touchless, all of them failed in user convenience because users still have to wind down their car window to tap cards on a machine or turn on a smartphone to scan the QR code at the in and out parking lanes."
He continued, "What is the best parking experience? When you have to do nothing. You drive in and out of a parking site by doing nothing. No winding down of your car window, no pulling out of any card and phone, and no physically making payment even electronically."
"At the moment, it seems like both the LPR (License Plate Recognition) and the RFID technology can fulfil the ideal touchless requirements, but practically not without a problem. For a casual parking site with random visitors, how it acquires unknown users to stick RFID tags on their cars? Who pays for the cost? And the different parking site has its own tag? That is not viable. And for LPR, there is no 100% accuracy in car plate recognition; what is the acceptable backup method if the reading fails? The biggest loophole of LPR in Malaysia is the smooth entry and exit experience, interrupted by a payment process in between. Even ridiculous, users are stopped at the exit lane, have to wind down their windows and tap a credit card or a TNG card before the exit. It defeats the purpose of an LPR, and I call this a half LPR system."
"The best parking experience should be ticketless, cashless, touchless and uninterruptible by the payment process. The barriers are just for “decoration” purposes. Any parking front end system that can fulfill these conditions will enjoy higher market share. And I’m sure it is achievable by looking at technological advancement.”
TimeTec now has its back-end cloud parking management system seamlessly integrated with the TNG System. It also connects to other modules in TimeTec Digital Building Ecosystem for a complete operation. It allows data to flow to the next activities to improve automation, security, and possible new income stream revenue stream.
"This is just the beginning of the digital transformation in the parking industry. The journey would take years, and we are ready to join the race not only in the Malaysia market but also in the rest of the world," commented Teh Hon Seng.
Stay tuned with TimeTec for the next Digital Building Ecosystem announcement every Wednesday! Click here for Series 6 of 13
TimeTec Group was established in 2000. Over 20 years, the Group had developed three homegrown globally recognized IT brands, FingerTec, TimeTec and iNeighbour, for workforce management, security, smart office, smart residential and smart township solutions unleashing of the power of biometrics, cloud & edge computing, IoT and AI technologies. All these solutions connect and change the landscape of work life and home life in a larger ecosystem. Through a vast network, TimeTec Group distributes its biometric hardware products and 16 cloud applications, including IoT devices, to more than 150 countries worldwide. Visit our company websites at www.timeteccloud.com, www.fingertec.com, www.ineighbour.com, www.timetecbuilding.com
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