Monday, August 30, 2010

Shouldn’t the 30% Mark Up For Paying Parking Tickets Online, Actually Be A Discount?

Clancy Systems, a private company that manages street parking and fines here, is doing the City of Durham a disservice, it seems to me.  In my experience Clancy does a good job of street parking enforcement, especially at the start of the day when people are having an early coffee.parking-ticket

But Clancy has it all wrong when it charges a 30% fee for online payment.  The company actually saves money on handling by not having to have someone manually open envelopes, post payments and then deposit them in the bank and/or transfer payments to the City.

Ironically, Clancy doesn’t charge a handling fee at all when you pay by check, which does actually require handling.  Not sure this current approach is doing the City or the person with the ticket or Clancy a service.  This kind of thinking seems clearly basakwards!

If anything there should be a discount on the amount of the ticket for paying online, not a 30% mark up.  There is a monthly fee for an online merchant account and a transaction fee but it doesn’t work out to the 30% mark up Clancy is using.

Most businesses and organizations absorb the fee or build into the cost of doing business overall because it is both a convenience and a cost savings in the end, just as they are doing by not charging extra for the handling required when payments are made the old fashioned way.

Clancy’s website prides itself on technology and “taking your parking agency to the next level.  And the City already does a good job of taking payments via its own website for water bills etc.

The City needs to work with Clancy Systems on a much fairer system for online payment.  Come to think of it, Clancy should make it so you can scan a bar code off the ticket and pay it on the spot with your smartphone.

No comments: