Changes coming to parking meters

By: Hannah Paczkowski

Companies like Visa and Mastercard are making major changes to the way we pay with our credit cards. It’s called chip and PIN, and it’s being used in other countries. A smart chip will be embedded into the card and transactions will be similar to using an ATM, and hopefully a little more secure.

“Holding it in your hand, you would insert it into the card reader and then you would, on the key pad, you would type in your PIN number,” city parking manager Wayne Mixdorf said.

This eliminates the need for swiping at the register or at meters.

“This is something we’ll develop a plan for and it’ll be done over a period of time,” Mixdorf said.

Mixdorf said the governing officials of the parking industry believe that when banks send out the new credit cards next year, users will be able to make transactions using the magnetic strip and smart chip. They believe this will give a few years for business and cities to adjust to the change, but some people in Lincoln say this is a waste of time and money.

“I feel like it’s kind of an unnecessary hassle. It’s going to be expensive to replace all of these meters,” Tyler Rediger said.

Mixdorf said it’ll cost three-quarters of a million dollars to replace all of the meters at once, but he said he expects the city to make the change periodically. He also said several other countries, like Canada, were able to make the switch smoothly.

“I’m pretty sure it’ll go painlessly here as well,” he said.

Mixdorf said about 35 percent of customers use credit cards on the meters and that number continues to rise. He said people shouldn’t expect a big change for another few years.