SA startup targets killing parking tickets

Johannesburg - The days of using paper tickets at parking bays could be numbered if a local startup has its way.

Mobile application KaChing officially went live on Tuesday and promises a cashless, ticketless parking system that allows drivers “seamless entry and exit to malls”.

The application is available on the Google Play Store for Android devices and the Apple Store for iPhones.

Jaco Marais, managing director and co-founder of KaChing, explained to Fin24 how the technology works.

"How it works is that you download the application from the Apple Store or the Android Google Play store and then you register. And during the registration, you sign up with your vehicle number plate,” Marais told Fin24.

"We then have cameras at each and every entrance and exit at the malls that we're currently live, and we do licence plate recognition and it will open the boom when you go and park.

“As you exit, the boom will open again and we deduct the money either from your credit card or your prepaid account,” added Marais.

Licence plate recognition is used in a variety of applications around the world but KaChing has patented its back-end technology that deals with logging parking details, said Marais.

KaChing’s technology is currently live at Johannesburg’s Morningside, Melrose Arch and Campus Square shopping centres.

The startup is further installing its technology at Thrupps Illovo Centre in Johannesburg and the Pavilion Shopping Centre in Durban.

“We have wider discussions with the large retailers or large landlords across the country to get this into as many malls as possible,” Marais told Fin24.

KaChing strikes up different payment arrangements with each parking arcade that it deals with, added Marais.

Meanwhile, Marais claimed the technology is the first of its kind in South Africa and that his startup is eyeing cornering the local market first before going global.

"We would be very interested in global opportunities but at this point in time our focus is on South Africa,” said Marais.

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