Parking meter transactions unprocessed for summer

Students parking on campus with Pay N Park permits this semester will notice a sudden deficit in their banking funds soon.

UAA Parking Services is missing about $15,000 of outstanding Pay N Park transactions since parking enforcement began on Sept. 4. All transactions from then to the present will be withdrawn from bank and credit accounts the day that the contract goes into effect Oct. 16 or later, according to Parking Services.

“Hopefully, sometime this week,” said Parking Services director Bob McDonnell.

In the meantime, bills are stacking up.

UAA Parking Services said in the Spring 2007 semester it didn’t have to pay a contract that now requires it to pay $50 per machine each month to process credit cards and check cards.

It was a surprise, McDonnell said, to find out that Parking Services would have to pay $350 in order to process the same type of transactions from the seven Pay N Park machines on campus this fall.

Misinformation from Protection Technologies Incorporated, which sold the Pay N Park machines to UAA, caused the university to not pay the contract for the credit and check card data processing services.

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The account for payment approval was not active, because of a lack of activity at the machines when parking was free this summer.

Parking Services didn’t know the account was inactive before enforcement began, because “when (Protection) Technologies realized that we weren’t paying, that we didn’t have a contract for those services, they didn’t tell us,” McDonnell said.

Parking Services was informed of the problem on Sept. 14, he said. That’s 10 days after the machines began selling temporary parking permits.

McDonnell warned that consumers could find a long list of transactions occurring at various times on the same day after Oct. 16, when the machines will begin processing transactions. He said it is because all the transactions are being processed at the same time and not individually at the time of purchase.

“People probably wouldn’t have even realized that those weren’t on their accounts at this point,” he added.

Chris Chettle, vice president of marketing for Digital Payment Technologies Corporation that operates the machines, said the merchant accounts still need to be processed before the outstanding balances are collected, and that takes time.

The university still has work to do to activate those accounts, he said.

“They’re all set up to accept credit cards, but the university hasn’t set up accepting cards at those machines,” he added.