Quick anecdote from a fun weekend: My wife and I dropped off our little ones on Saturday and drove into Winnipeg for a belated Valentine’s Day. We drove down to The Forks with the hopes of skating on the river on the most beautiful day we’ve seen all winter. Naturally though, everyone else in Winnipeg was thinking the same as us.

We drove up, found a parking spot, and I hopped in line to pay for parking. The lineup was 10 families long and each family was taking between 3 and 4 minutes to authorize their credit card for payment.

It was 2:00PM and we hadn’t eaten since breakfast.

I could feel some deep frustrations setting in.

One (older) couple lines up behind me and I overhear them talking about “Pay By Phone”. The gentlemen steps outside the line, looks at his phone, taps a few buttons, looks at his wife, nods, and they walk down to The Forks together.

So, I quickly googled “Pay By Phone” and “The Forks” and “Parking”. The search result was lightning quick thanks to Winnipeg’s “5G” network.

I downloaded the PayByPhone app in under 10 seconds.

I was met with a “Sign in with Apple” badge, which allowed me to create a new PayByPhone account without sharing my Apple ID or email address and with the security of Face ID.

I added my vehicle into the profile — a 15 second process.

I noted the number on the PayByPhone kiosk, added it into the app, and subsequently paid with Apple Pay.

I walked back to the vehicle in under 5 minutes, grabbed my skates and winter gear, and headed down for an hour of blissful skating on the river with my lovely wife.

You can laugh at the fact I didn’t know PayByPhone existed. Or you can see the brilliance of the transaction:

  • I downloaded the app in under 10 seconds.
  • I created an account without sharing my email address and with the security of Face ID.
  • I paid for parking with the security of Apple Pay and Face ID.
  • I skipped the 45 minute wait.

This was a moment of pure and utter technological convenience — one that feels increasingly difficult to experience as technology and expectations rise each day.

Forevermore, I’m sure I’ll be disappointed when I pull into a parking lot only to find I have to wait in line to pay for parking.