Mobile Payments Hitting Parks & Recreation Boards

November 14, 2017         By: Steven Anderson

For those who first think of spunky Amy Poehler or irascible Nick Offerman when the phrase “Parks and Recreation” comes up, well, you’re not alone. The real-world equivalent, however, is taking on something of a different cast, and a report sent our way by Paysafe and Amilia notes that parks and recreation space users are increasingly craving digital options in that space.

The report from the duo notes that, essentially, parks and recreation facilities have just as much potential to be brought under smart city methods as the power, water and traffic operations, and users want to see that happen.

For instance, the study found that 55 percent of Canadians surveyed and 48 percent of Americans were straight-up unaware if there was some kind of online booking service for park facilities. That’s important, because 46 percent of Americans and 25 percent of Canadians want to book such facilities in advance, which means that providing such services should result in increased traffic and revenue.

What’s more, mobile options—including mobile payments options—can address several critical pain points about the use of local parks and recreation services. A lack of communication about these facilities, lack of registration reminders, and overall registration hours are commonly-cited issues in the study. Indeed, online registration for activities was regularly noted as an important service.

With more mobile payment options available, and an increasing number of users going cash-free—25 percent of Canadians age 18-34 and 20 percent of Americans 56-64 for starters—it’s becoming increasingly clear that adding mobile payments options to park services fits in with the increasing demands of the potential parks user.

It’s all about meeting the user where they live. Increasingly, “where they live” is online, and in many cases mobile. Setting up a reservation system accessed from a mobile device or a desktop system is likely a fairly simple matter, and by providing such options, the user base is more likely to put it to work. More users means more revenue for any service that has a fee, and if there’s one thing municipalities need, it’s tax dollars.

We don’t often think about parks when we think about mobile payments and smart cities, but maybe we should. The Paysafe / Amilia study makes that much clear.