Have you ever stood in front of a defective parking machine? Or waited in line trying to get to one? If the answer is yes, Smartrac and its partner HonkMobile have good news for you: the world’s first virtual parking meter, HonkTAP is there.
Developed by North America’s leading provider of on-demand mobile payments and advanced reservations for parking, HonkMobile, and leveraging customized ‘BLOCK ON-METAL’ NFC tags from Smartrac, HonkTAP is a groundbreaking innovation in parking. Instead of paying for parking using traditional parking machines which are known to experience e.g. vandalism, periods of downtime and queues, consumers can simply tap their smartphone on any Honk sign, enabled by Smartrac’s NFC tags, and pay for parking just in seconds with no app download or user registration required. The signage can be as simple as a sticker on a parking meter or as robust as integrated signage or a standalone structure.
First Major Parking Service Fully Leveraging Apple Pay
HonkTAP provides a seamless 2-click payment process by fully leveraging Apple Pay and the underlying NFC functionality of all smartphones. While procedures may vary slightly depending on the needs of individual parking operators, any parking customer with an NFC-enabled iPhone for example can proceed to any HonkTAP sign and tap it with the phone. The iPhone will then open a guest checkout HonkMobile page, where the user will be asked to input a license plate number and trigger an Apple Pay payment. With this, so called Tap-to-Pay application, HonkTAP is the first major parking service to fully leverage Apple Pay’s payment service. Nonetheless, the world’s first virtual parking meter is not restricted to iOS users: Android users get the same great experience by choosing a payment method from Google Pay, PayPal or any major credit card.
Latest Technology for the Ultimate Parking Experience at the Point of Payment
Smartrac’s high-quality RFID technology know-how comes into play by triggering the point of payment; consumers tap their smartphone on a HonkTAP parking sign or structure that contains a secure and reliable NFC tag, which works flawlessly on metallic and other surfaces thanks to its design, performance and form factor.
BLOCK ON-METAL NFC Tags Enable Best-in-class Tapping Skills
To meet all application and product requirements, Smartrac has specifically developed and customized its BLOCK ON-METAL NFC tags to meet Honk’s needs for maximum read range and user convenience. Equipped with NXP’s SLIX2 ICs which feature optimized tuning for on-metal surfaces, BLOCK ON-METAL inlays and tags enable best-in-class tapping distances as defined by global NFC standards, despite being extraordinarily thin (approx. 1mm) and flexible.
With their excellent performance and read range, BLOCK ON-METAL tags open the door not only to “the future of parking” but to multiple industrial, retail and B2C applications. These include but are not limited to consumer engagement and experiences, asset management, brand protection, product authentication and payment. Due to its handy dimensions (die-cut size 50 x 50 mm / 1.96 x 1.96 in for the standard tag), the new product allows the identification and provision of a digital identity to a multitude of items– from metallic components to spare parts, signs, tools, even machines and domestic items.
Flexible Ferrite Material and Optimized Antenna Design
To achieve superior performance, Smartrac combines an optimized antenna design with a thin layer of flexible ferrite material, which isolates the magnetic field from the metal surface. Ferrite redirects the reader’s inductive field and prevents energy from being wasted as heat within the metallic surface. Like other flexible ferrite-based NFC products from Smartrac, BLOCK ON-METAL inlays are suitable for roll-to-roll manufacturing processes, which make onward processing much easier and more cost-effective, and allow converters to overprint the inlays if required.
“We are very proud of our partnership with Honk, and at the same time are well positioned to be the cross-industry leader when it comes to practical usage of NFC technologies,” said Amir Mobayen, President Transponder Division and Chief Revenue Officer at Smartrac. “As the market demand for NFC-enabled products is growing exponentially, our uniquely designed NFC products are readily available today to effectively support and help our customers to realize latest market innovations."
Top-notch Converting Partners Ensure End-to-end Quality
To complete the ultimate Tap-to-Pay experience, Smartrac’s longtime market partner WS Packaging converted the NFC tags into customized printed stickers and labels. The finished products can be attached to a variety of surfaces and virtually anywhere in the parking area, providing a wide range of places to pay and hence maximum convenience for consumers.
“HonkTAP is a game changer for the parking industry,” said Michael Back, Honk Founder & CEO. “When building out the new product, a priority for us was finding the best-in-class NFC technology partner that would meet the needs of our operators and consumers. Smartrac has stepped up with a superior product that we are thrilled to incorporate into all our signage. There’s no question its NFC tags’ read range and form factor are top of the line and complement our technology in the launch of HonkTAP.”
Honk is North America’s leading provider of both on-demand mobile payments and advance reservations for parking. Honk has been creating solutions to avoid and eliminate the traditional parking meter for years. First, with their innovative app, then Honk KIO - a low-cost payment kiosk aligned with the app, and now HonkTAP rounds out their family of products to serve the needs of all drivers, parking operators and real estate owners whenever and however they require.
Honk is already accepted at over 2,000 locations representing 250,000 parking spaces across Canada and the United States. With the touch of a button, motorists can pay for parking anywhere Honk is accepted across North America.
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