Parking is again proving itself to be a great test case for mobile payment technology with a new deployment of mobile-enabled meters in San Francisco. 

Parking technology company PayByPhone announced the deployment of its NFC-enabled payment system by the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA). According to the company, SFMTA is adding NFC stickers to the city's 30,800 parking spaces so that drivers with NFC-enabled mobile devices can simply swipe their devices to feed the meter. The NFC stickers are in addition to mobile apps and a mobile website that allow smartphone users without NFC to use mobile devices to pay for parking. (Good old-fashioned coins will still work as well.)

"This is one of the largest deployments of NFC technology in the United States and shows the practical benefits this technology can deliver in terms of ease of use and convenience. There has been a lot of hype around NFC recently and PayByPhone is pleased to now put the technology in the field for real world applications," said Neil Podmore, VP of business development at PayByPhone, in a statement.

"We expect this to help kick start the more widespread adoption and understanding of the practical benefits of NFC in 2012," Podmore said.

According to PayByPhone's announcement, the company's system has already been deployed in San Francisco's Castro district and will be expanded citywide.

The system uses an NFC chip to store the information on the parking space. When a driver waves an NFC-enabled smartphone over the tag, the phone launches the parking application to allow the driver to add money to the meter. Additionally, the app sends a text message to the phone when time on the meter is running out so the driver can add funds.

For more stories like this please visit the Contactless/NFC research center.

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