You have been shopping. You walk up to the pay station. There’s a line. You put your bags down and fish into your pocket for cash to pay for your parking. You realise you might not have enough. You pick up your bags, find the closest ATM (which is usually on the other side of the mall), withdraw cash, get back, stand in line. You put in a note. It pops back out. You flip it, turn it, twist and eventually you pay.

(If you had enough money, in coins, you probably had to scratch at least one coin against the pay station because it keeps sliding through and popping out.)

Head to your car, drive up to the boom – your ticket has somehow become unreadable in the distance it took to get from pay station to car to boom. You press the silver button. Eventually a voice says ‘hallo’ and, after an explanation, they let you out. Before, you would have to reverse and go to the office or wait for a security guard to come through. Progress has been the ability for them to open the boom from their office.

If you live in South Africa, particularly a city like Joburg, where we live from parking lot to parking lot, you’ve probably experienced the above at some stage. KaChing, which launched in February 2016, seeks to change the experience for drivers in South Africa, starting off in Joburg, at Melrose Arch, Campus Square and Morningside shopping centres with Thrupps to be added as well as the Pavillion in Durban.

KaChing was founded by Jaco Marais, William Cosby and Rudoph de Wet. It is a ‘cashless, ticketless, user-friendly parking app’ that deducts the money from your credit card and uses ‘license plate recognition (LPR) technology’ to open the boom when you drive up.

It is relatively straightforward to set up. Download app from Apple App Store or Google Play (coming to Windows Store soon), register, add a car, add a payment method (either manually or by scanning your card) and you are good to go. Took me about 5 minutes from beginning to end.

If you are a Discovery Insure member and Discovery Card holder, there will be benefits. KaChing is also having discussions with others to create rewards and benefits to users.

I’ve registered but I must still give it a try.

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About Kojo Baffoe

Of Ghanaian/German heritage, raised in Lesotho and currently based in Johannesburg, South Africa, Kojo is the proverbial slashie, the professional ‘jack of all trades.’ He is an entrepreneur, writer, facilitator, content architect, former men’s magazine editor and speaker. He has a Bachelor of Commerce (1994) with majors in Economics, Marketing and Business Administration from the former the University of Natal (Durban), now University of KwaZulu-Natal.

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