You may soon be able to feed that parking meter with your smartphone

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Paying for parking in Minneapolis is set to become a whole lot easier – with new meters that let you pay using your smartphone set to be launched in May.

The Star Tribune reports the City of Minneapolis is finalizing plans to offer the service at about 500 of its 7,500 meters, with more set to be installed in August and September, with the rest potentially following in late fall.

The newspaper reports drivers will be able to use an app from Parkmobile on their smartphones and tablets to pay for parking and add more minutes to their sessions (provided you're under the maximum stay) – saving on a rush back to the meter.

According to the Parkmobile website, users will add the zone number listed on the meter to start their session, with the app featuring a countdown service that will provide a notification 15 minutes before the parking session expires.

Payments can be made with credit card you provide when signing up to the app, as well as PayPal or Visa Checkout. Alternatively, people can set up a Parkmobile Wallet account and have the money taken from there.

Drivers will have to pay a premium for the convenience though, with the Business Journal saying using the service will cost an extra 25 cents per transaction, or 15 cents if they sign up to a membership costing 99 cents per month.

The fee drops to just 10 cents if people pay using a Parkmobile Wallet.

The Star Tribune notes the city council will have to vote on the plan before it can be implemented, but a three-year agreement between the city and Parkmobile was approved by its Transportation and Public Works Committee on Tuesday, with an option to extend for two more years.

Parkmobile already offers pay-by-phone parking at three private car parks in Minneapolis.

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