Ecological, Innovative Solutions Favor Cashless Environment
STORY INLINE POST
Companies and organizations are constantly looking for new ways to solve the problems that affect our environment and hinder access to a higher quality of life. Three of these problems are: deforestation, paper waste, and air pollution in the Mexican context.
Mexico occupies the top place in the rankings regarding deforestation worldwide. It is also known that more than 40% of the felling of wood is used to manufacture paper. In research carried out by Greenpeace, it was estimated that if this trend continues, trees will become completely extinct within the next 300 years, creating irreversible damage to the environment, the economy, and human life itself. (Soto, 2021)
Regarding air pollution, long commutes and congested roads can make it difficult for people to get to jobs, schools, and other important destinations. This can lead to increased CO2 emissions from vehicles, increased stress, and reduced quality of life. In addition, traffic can also make it difficult for people to allocate part of their time to activities they really value.
In Mexico, the transportation sector is among the biggest environmental polluters (UN-HABITAT 2022), especially in metropolitan areas where the automotive subsector, due to trips in individual motorized transport, exceeds 60% of the total contamination of suspended particles, resulting in severe affectations to both the environment and people’s health. This problem annually is estimated to kill around 14,700 people in Mexico alone, according to the World Health Organization.
According to a study by the International Transport Forum, one of the main problems encountered when looking for solutions to improve road mobility in cities is the fact that 30% of urban traffic in some cities is caused by drivers looking for a place to park. For this reason, different mobility companies have developed payment solutions for digital parking and digital access controls for residential areas, with the aim of reducing lost time, and with the safety of the population always in mind.
Parkimovil is a mobility company that started in 2011 to create an ecological solution to the problem of mass and unnecessary paper consumption. The first project by this company consisted of a system to offer a digital payment method for parking meters using the user's cellphone to avoid printing tickets, reducing the waste produced by traditional parking meter tickets. An area of opportunity that was identified is that the vast majority of people prefer to use credit or debit cards instead of making cash payments.
Enabling digital payments with transactions mediated by credit and debit cards allows users to make a purchase without even taking their wallets out of their pockets. This makes the process of paying for goods and services much faster, more efficient, and more ecological. Every day, banks look for different ways to increase security for people when paying, motivating the population to migrate from cash to digital payments.
Another reason why people have moved away from cash is mainly for security. Using cards and other forms of electronic payment can be much safer than carrying cash. For example, if a card is lost or stolen, it can be canceled and replaced, while cash cannot. In addition, many cards now offer additional security features, such as chip and PIN protection, which can reduce the risk of fraud. Additionally, the increased availability of electronic payment options has also contributed to the shift away from cash. For example, the widespread adoption of e-commerce has made it possible for people to shop online and make electronic payments, without leaving the comfort of their homes.
With regard to paper pollution, its production process involves the use of extremely dangerous chemicals, such as heavy metals, dyes, and other contaminants, which come into contact with people in different ways, such as parking tickets, shopping tickets, and information brochures, that can become toxic and can have serious health impacts when released into the environment.
The Parkimovil app implemented electronic payments through its mobile application, where its main objective is to motivate cities to have more intelligent payment options, as well as provide users with a solution to prevent problems, such as losing a parking ticket or a lack of cash. Every day, there are more companies that seek to address the security and preferences of citizens, with the purpose of making smart cities through both ecological and innovative solutions.