Boku Inc. is partnering with Sunhill Technologies to offer a mobile payment system for motorists in Europe to bill parking costs to their mobile phone account.
Germany-based Sunhill Technologies provides a white-label mobile application for parking garage companies. The application will include a "Pay By Mobile" option through San Francisco-based Boku's direct carrier billing.
Customers parking in lots that use Sunhill's technology will have the option to pay on their mobile phone bill or deduct the payment from a prepaid phone balance.
Boku offers the option to pay through an app or by sending a text message, says Ray Ramillosa, vice president of marketing at Boku Inc.
"The text option is an interesting use of carrier billing," Ramillosa says. "The user can essentially text his license plate number and the parking space number to a code, and we can process the payment using that technology."
If a parking garage uses a gated entrance and exit, Boku provides a text message with details that confirm payment of the parking space that the consumer can show attendants.
Boku set up the text-to-pay option for people without smartphones, or those "in a hurry at the parking garage" who have not already downloaded Sunhill's payment app, Ramillosa says. Signs posted in the parking garages explain how to use the "text-to-pay" option.
The parking application lets users choose among several funding mechanisms, including having the payment applied to a mobile phone bill, Ramillosa says. "Once the consumer is accustomed to using the application, it is just a matter of pulling it up on the phone, entering a parking spot number and the amount of time you want to park," he adds.
Boku and Sunhill will initially provide the payment system in Europe, mostly in Germany, the Netherlands and Croatia, and will look to expand into other countries in the future, Ramillosa says. "Our coverage map represents a very compelling partnership for Sunhill."
Boku says it serves nearly 4 billion consumers worldwide in 68 different countries with its mobile billing service.
Boku has landed agreements for mobile payments with Sony to allow consumers in the U.K. to purchase digital content from PlayStation video game consoles.