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The Advantages of Pay by Stall Over Pay and Display

Buzz words such as "Pay and Display", "Pay by Stall", and "Pay by Space" are common in today's parking industry. However, several people may not fully understand what these terms mean and the trade-offs between them. This article will attempt to define these terms as well as discuss some of the advantages that Pay by Stall parking has over that of the Pay and Display approach.

What is Pay and Display?

The Pay and Display parking approach is a system in which the parker first finds an open UNNUMBERED parking stall in a parking lot. The parker then finds the nearest parking meter where the parker pays for his/her parking and receives a parking TICKET from the payment station (the PAY). Then the parker walks back to the vehicle and places the parking ticket on the dashboard in visible view (the DISPLAY).

What is Pay by Stall?

The Pay by Stall parking approach is a system (also known as Pay by Space) in which the parker first finds an open NUMBERED parking stall in a parking lot. Remembering his/her stall number, the parker finds the nearest parking meter. Once at the parking meter, the meter asks the parker for the stall number he/she parked in (the STALL). The parker then pays for the parking and receives a parking RECEIPT from the parking meter (the PAY). This receipt can then be retained as the parking meter stores the stall number and date stamp information. Notice that Pay by Stall issues a RECEIPT and not a TICKET. Thus, the parker does not need to place the receipt on the dashboard of their vehicle.

Advantages of Pay by Stall

1. Better User Experience
One of the advantages of Pay by Stall is that the parker does not need to return to the vehicle to place the ticket onto the dashboard. This provides the parker with less hassle and a better user experience.
2. Easier Enforcement
Another advantage is on the enforcement side of things. With Pay and Display, the enforcement officer must look at each ticket on the dashboard of the vehicles. This can be cumbersome and time consuming. With Pay by Stall, the parking meter has the knowledge of which stalls are expired and which stalls are not. The officer simply asks the parking meter to print out a report that outlines all expired stalls; less time consuming.
3. Less Counterfeit Tickets
Using the Pay and Display approach entices counterfeit tickets to be made. With today's consumer printing technology, practically anybody can scan a ticket into their computer. They then let their graphics editor software change the date and time of the ticket, and print out a new ticket from their printer. How will the enforcement officer know a real ticket from a counterfeit one? See the "Fighting Counterfeit Tickets in your Pay and Display Parking Operation" article for information on how to help keep counterfeit tickets to a minimum. With the Pay by Stall approach, the parker is issued a receipt of the transaction instead of a ticket. Therefore, the enforcement officer never actually looks at the parker's ticket. Instead, all information is held within the parking meter resulting in no counterfeit tickets.


This article depicts several of the advantages of operating a parking lot in Pay by Stall vs. Pay and Display mode. Namely, the better customer experience and the increased efficiency of enforcing Pay by Stall.