Even pre-pandemic, paying for parking and sorting out cash for the subway was a bit of a pain, and while there are various apps to make that marginally easier, Google Maps has now integrated the ability to pay for those things into its own app.
That means that you can have Google Maps open to plan or navigate a journey, and stay in-app to sort out any payments; no more faffing about at the parking meter scanning QR codes, rifling for cash, or frantically downloading the correct app.
Google has just announced the new feature, that lets you pay for parking and transit fares from Google Maps – as long as you have your credit or debit card linked to your Google account. Thanks to the integration with Passport, and ParkMobile, which let you use your phone to pay for parking, when you rock up to a car park, a 'Pay for Parking' button will appear on your Google Maps navigation screen. Just hit the button, enter the parking meter number, the duration of your stay, and tap 'Pay'. If you need extra time, you can top up in-app
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If you're a pedestrian, and are hopping on and off public transport, you can also pay for your journey in Google Maps. When you're in the app and grabbing directions, you'll be presented with the option to pay then and there, and if you're in San Francisco's Bay Area, you can also buy a digital Clipper card in Google Maps. You can then tap your phone at the reader, or show your digital ticket while travelling.
Encouraging cashless payments during the pandemic is also something we've seen rolling out at retailers, and with the new Google Maps feature, there's even less of a reason for you to be touching things like grubby parking meters that have already been manhandled by countless people before you.
Google Maps pay for parking has begun rolling out on Android in over 400 cities across the US, including Boston, Cincinnati, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, and Washington D.C. iOS will follow "soon", and Google adds that the pay for parking support will expand to "80 agencies globally" on Android over the next few weeks.