Parking apps

Parking Apps – More Than Just a Parking Meter

31 May 2022

Parking apps are evolving. Gone are the days when we only used them as a parking meter in the local shopping complex car park, we can now reserve spaces, find out where open spaces are and pre-pay for specific time slots. These advances can effectively help those visiting busy cities for work or pleasure with real-time updates on available spaces, and ensure they are never late to a meeting or gathering again. According to a report from Grandview Research, pre-pandemic many of us would not have thought twice about car sharing or travelling on public transport, however, post-pandemic society has seen an increase in overall traffic as we choose to drive ourselves to work, meetings and social events. This has resulted in traffic congestion, which local authorities are keen to manage, making a smart parking system likely to be deployed across several markets.

North America

Future Insights has highlighted North America as an advanced region in the adoption of parking finder apps. Grandview’s research supports this stating that it held a market share of over 35% in 2021, with the research adding that most of the key players in the parking finder app market are active in this region. The US and neighbouring Canada have been implementing plans to adopt smart parking systems to help accommodate safe, legal parking in cities with parking finder applications taking “you directly to a free parking spot” (Future Insights). Further growth in this region could be fuelled by the autonomous cars which are currently in development, which could feature a parking assistance function similar to our current mobile apps.


According to an article in Mordor Intelligence, the European smart parking market is expected to reach a CAGR of 10.11% from 2021 – 2026. Urbanisation is thought to be a factor in the growth of parking apps in the region local authorities attempting to reduce pollution and lower congestion by shortening the time citizens spend searching for parking. This is considered to be part of the development of a ‘Smart City’ concept being adopted by several cities across the globe. According to the Mordor Intelligence article, evidence of this can be found in countries like Germany, where Munich is developing smart city guidelines for future urban development and Cologne has the Smart City Cologne initiative. At the time of the publication of Mordor’s article, Cologne has deployed guidance systems that cover 770 parking spaces in the Nippes area of the city, with plans to implement more in the future.

The Middle East and Africa

Business Marketing Insight has noted that the Middle East and Africa (MEA) is a  “highly fragmented market” for parking apps. Although the market has initially seen a decline due to measures put in place as a result of the pandemic, it is now seeing a steady recovery. As with the US and Europe, this region has seen an increase in congestion and parking unavailability issues, leading to the call for similar solutions as in the other regions. Smart City construction is also being adopted by local authorities in the MEA region.

How is this an Opportunity for Carrier Billing?

As already demonstrated, the parking application market is seeing a growth in demand across multiple markets across the globe. These apps allow drivers to pay “quickly from their mobile devices for on-street parking” (Future Marketing Insight). This, along with the additional benefits of finding available parking spaces, booking spaces in advance, and the management of congestion in busy metropolitan areas, well-being being encourage further growth in the coming years across the globe.

Mobile payments via carrier billing can help customers pay for their parking with a secure, hassle-free payment method. With carrier billing the customer could pay for and book parking, spending less time circling looking for a spot and searching for spare change to feed the meter, ensuring overall convenience. If you would like to find out more contact the SLA Digital Team today.

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