In what many may see as a slightly strange move, the Financial Services division of the Volkswagen Group has purchased the leading way to pay for car parking, PayByPhone. The amount the Group will pay, or any other terms of the deal, has not revealed.

PayByPhone has over 12.5 million registered users worldwide, processing more than $250 million in parking payments in 2016 alone. When you consider that a parking fare is nothing more than a few dollars, that's quite a lot of individual payments. The company says that the purchase will allow it to "explore new ways to expand our mobile payments technology" and it is "[looking] forward to accelerating our consumer parking and payments agenda made possible by this deal".

When you think about it, the purchase does make some semblance of sense - Volkswagen Group is primarily a car manufacturer, with other diversified operations, such as fleet management, that involves and uses cars. PayByPhone is a car parking company... so yeah. It may also tie in with VW's new company, Moia, which will offer services relating to mass transit and personal car ownership.

According to the press release, PayByPhone clients and customers can expect improved customer support, more services, and greater functionality as the company is integrated into the Volkswagen Group. As a resident of a city that uses PayByPhone for car parking, I look forward to it - while the Android app had a complete overhaul recently, it's still far from perfect.

Press Release

VANCOUVER, BC and BRAUNSCHWEIG, GERMANY--(Marketwired - December 28, 2016) - Volkswagen Financial Services AG and PayByPhone today announced that the financial services division of Volkswagen Group has acquired PayByPhone, the world's leading parking payment provider. The deal positions Volkswagen Financial Services AG as the clear leader in mobile payments and parking sectors, while providing the foundation for future PayByPhone growth globally and continued innovation.

As consumers look for easy-to-use mobile solutions that fit their increasingly digital lives, the PayByPhone acquisition signals a growing market for mobile-payment solutions. PayByPhone's technology -- the fastest way to pay for parking -- will soon be available for millions more drivers across the globe. In 2016, PayByPhone has already processed more than $250 million in payments and is adding approximately 7,000 users per day to their already substantial base of more than 12.5 million registered users.

"This is a tremendous opportunity for PayByPhone to explore new ways to expand our mobile payments technology into different verticals, markets and use cases. The mobile payment movement has exploded recently, and we look forward to accelerating our consumer parking and payments agenda made possible by this deal," said Kush Parikh, CEO of PayByPhone. "Volkswagen Financial Services AG has been at the forefront of innovation to fit its customers' mobile lives, and we are honored to be a part of its global vision."

The PayByPhone acquisition expands the Volkswagen Financial Services AG footprint in the mobile-payment solutions market, and positions the organization as the central service provider within the Volkswagen Group for the parking business. Volkswagen Financial Services AG has already acquired a 92 percent shareholding in Sunhill Technologies GmbH, the German market leader in mobile-parking solutions across 90 German cities.

"With the acquisition of PayByPhone, we are now the leading provider for the processing and mobile payment of parking. In the future, we will be bundling this know-how in a separate business field around the theme of parking," said Dr. Christian Dahlheim, the management board member responsible for sales and marketing at Volkswagen Financial Services AG.

The acquisition will not affect any of PayByPhone's current operations. In the near future, PayByPhone's existing clients and customers can expect improved support, more services, and greater app functionality as the integration with Volkswagen Financial Services AG continues. The paybyphone app is available on iOS, Android, and all other mobile platforms via its web application and online presence. Drivers in thousands of locations worldwide can download the iOS or Android app here.

The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Price: Free

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