If you spend time navigating city traffic, you may have already experienced the Parkmobile app, which lets you pay for parking via your smartphone. This week, the company announced a new partnership with Allstate, offering roadside assistance -- and soon, the ability to pay for it -- right from your phone. Welcome to the future.
For those who haven't yet tried Parkmobile, it's fairly easy to use. After downloading the app, you fill in the usual registration info and assign a method of payment (either a credit card or a PayPal account). Then, when you're out on the town, simply tell the app which Parkmobile spot you've parked in, and it charges you the appropriate amount. You'll get a reminder when your time is running low, and you can add more funds from wherever you are.
That in itself isn't so revolutionary. There are other apps that work similarly, and there are even some services that work via text message, so you don't have to download an app at all.
Nor is it especially revolutionary that Parkmobile allows you to pay for service on the go, using your smartphone. In some countries, paying by phone has become commonplace -- and folks don't even have to crack open an app to do so.
No, what's interesting here is the integration of Allstate Roadside Assistance, which isn't an essential service for parkers, but an adjacent service for drivers. That's a very clever partnership. (FYI: according to Parkmobile's Tina Dyer, customers currently pay for parking and roadside assistance separately, but in the near future, Parkmobile hopes to integrate payment for both services into the Parkmobile app.)
This kind of horizontal integration seems like a win-win for all involved. Parkmobile and Allstate get to offer customers important new services without incurring additional overhead. And for consumers, bringing together an array of services under a single app makes car ownership that much simpler. We hope to see more partnerships like this down the road.
To download Parkmobile's apps for Android, Blackberry, iOS, and Windows Mobile, visit Parkmobile.com