Monday, December 11, 2006

More U.S. Cities in Interchangeable Parking Jam (

While New Hampshire and Massachusetts are facing parking meter quagmires, California has credit card accepting meters already in place.

Last weekend, while on the Sunset Strip in West Hollywood, we noticed that the famed landmark street was shadowed by Visa® and MasterCard® accepting parking meters. For as little as 25-cents you can rent a space for 15 minutes on The Strip. We wonder whether West Hollywood knows what Boston and Manchester N.H. understand about how interchange fees eat into their revenues?

[photo caption: Charge card accepting parking meter on the Sunset Strip, Saturday, Dec 9, -]

For typical merchants, the minimum charge / debit card fee on a 25-cent transaction could be nearly the entire amount and in other cases much, much higher. Did the 15-minutes of fame our car experienced on the Sunset Strip end up costing the municipality while helping to enrich the banks and card associations?

The Canadian-based company name imprinted on the back of the receipt (left) is Digital Payment Technologies. We visited their website but could not find any information on how municipalities are handling the interchange fees or what those fees are expected to be for micro-transactions.

New Hampshire Parking Meters Accept Plastic (via Union Leader)

"[Boston] Halts Use of Credit Cards at New Meters" (via The Boston Globe)

Boston Strangled by Interchange Rules (