New York's Department of Finance (DOF) is issuing a Request for Information (RFI) on mobile solutions for payment and hearing scheduling for parking tickets, and identifies Bitcoin as one of the potential tenders.

The DOF is researching different options available in the mobile payment industry that could provide greater ease and convenience for vehicle owners, reads the official release.

The announced RFI will assist the City in understanding the current market for mobile payments options, as well as technologies that would allow someone to request a hearing and submit evidence. The authority is seeking information on how best to "take advantage of new technologies and extend public access to government," and greater use of mobile applications and technologies is one way the DOF envisages fulfilling this prerogative.

Currently, NYC offers both payments and adjudications of parking tickets online, via mail or in person, but the City is also interested in learning about mobile solutions that could allow residents to fulfill these actions in a more convenient way via smartphones or other mobile devices.

The RFI's objectives include the following:

  • Identify and assess mobile platforms that support the payment of parking tickets and learn about their current use and future viability;
  • Identify existing mobile platforms that support the request for a hearing of parking tickets and learn about their current use and future viability;
  • Determine the level of integration with the City’s existing systems that would be needed to support such platforms;
  • For payment solutions only: identify the tenders that would be supported by such mobile platform, including but not limited to:
    • Credit Cards
    • Automated Clearing House (ACH) transfers
    • Alternative payment methods, such as Bitcoin, ApplePay, PayPal, etc.
  • Determine whether such platforms could support the real-time payment or request for a hearing of "windshield" tickets that have been issued but not yet loaded into Finance’s IT systems;
  • Identify potential costs to both the City and the public that such solutions would add to the cost of the ticket itself and the City’s convenience fee.

Annually, NYC's Department of Finance collects over US$30 billion in revenue for the City in its role as a Mayoral City Agency. Each year, NYC issues between 8-10 million parking tickets, while the DOF collects between US$550-600 million in revenues from base fines and penalties.

Adding Bitcoin as a payment method for parking tickets and fines could benefit both vehicle owners and the City, enabling the former to pay easily and in a more convenient matter, and the latter to save money and time, while providing payment traceability.

NYC is not the first city to be considering digital currency as a payment method for parking tickets. Next year, drivers in Madeira Beach, Florida will have the ability to pay their tickets in bitcoins, reported the Tampa Bay Times. The move will ultimately make Madeira Beach the first city in the world to uniformly adopt Bitcoin as prime source of payment.

Interested parties are invited to submit their responses to the NYC's Department of Finance's ROF before January 15, 3:00pm. Further instructions can be found via this link

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