Although Hungary might have many areas in which to improve, the country manages to rank among the most developed ones in the region thanks to its leading technological solutions and uniform payment system used for mobile parking.
Cashless payment solutions are becoming increasingly popular in Hungary. More and more people are using traditional or PayPal-based credit cards at the registers, and the newest trend is the appearance of mobile payment methods.
Although the mobile wallet was launched only recently, the mobile payment solutions used to pay parking fees appeared in Budapest and 16 other Hungarian towns in 2006, and later on the system has been applied in more and more towns and zones. Nowadays you can pay by mobile phone not only in street parking zones but also in the parking garages of numerous shopping malls.
Car owners can text their licence plate number to one of the mobile numbers on the parking meters, depending on which service provider they are contracted with. The last four digits of the phone number correspond to the code of the parking zone belonging to the parking space occupied. When they are ready to drive away motorists have to send the word “Stop” to the same number and with that their parking comes to an end.
The parking fee is paid by the customers as part of their monthly phone bill, and then the service providers wire the collected amount to the parking company. The system works both with domestic and foreign licence plate numbers, however the numbers on the parking meters can only be texted from mobile phones operated by domestic network providers.
If you only have a phone number of a foreign network provider, you can only pay your parking fee with the help of a smartphone application working with a credit card or a prepaid balance. If you use a smartphone, you can use the QR code on the zone sticker stuck on the parking meter to download and set up the application. The application lets you start and stop the parking process and instantly wire the parking fee.
It’s good to know that mobile parking is subject to a transaction fee, but the communication cost can be decreased when you start the parking process via mobile internet connection. For that you need to have a smartphone though.
If you are using a company car and would like to charge the cost of parking to your employer, you can request a VAT invoice from the service provider you are contracted with. If you are using another application or the services of the National Mobile Payment (Nemzeti Mobilfizetési) Zrt., then you can contact them to request an invoice. If you are paying for parking with your company’s mobile be sure to double check with your bookkeepers if the corporate system is able to separate the parking fee from the rest of the monthly phone bill.
The popularity of the mobile parking system is proven by the fact that a significant majority of people prefer it to reaching into their pockets for coins. The central system, which began almost two years ago, registered 17 million mobile parking uses in its first year of business, bringing in about HUF 7 billion.
For more information call +36-36-889-889, which is a number that can also be reached from abroad.
This series is aimed at making your stay in Hungary as comfortable as possible and it is brought to you by Magyar Telekom Zrt., the country’s biggest mobile services provider.