Key West’s Path to Recouping $250,000 in Revenue


Let’s take an inside look at the parking payment and enforcement innovations of one new Passport client, the popular tourist destination of Key West Florida. The City wanted a fully integrated system for simplification and ease of operation, and after weighing their vendor options, their leadership chose Passport. Like most municipalities, Key West suffered revenue loss in 2020. Read on to see how bundling the solutions in the Passport digital platform will allow the City to streamline operations and deliver exceptional service in 2021 and beyond, expecting 14.7% in overall cost savings and to recoup around $250,000 in credit card fees by using Passport Payments, the payment processing solution for parking payments.

Evolution to Becoming a Smarter City

Over the past ten years, the evolution of the parking programs in Key West Florida came one at a time and step by step. The City first adopted solar-powered pay stations, then mobile parking payments via smartphone apps, and added more types of digital parking permits. As their online credit card payments increased, they saw revenue increases but they were offset by increased credit card processing and fees.

The City had a disjointed system and was using multiple vendors and various computer systems. When looking for a more modern solution, Key West city leaders knew that all of these systems must work together to be cost-effective and for efficient curb management. They realized that their different tools were inefficient and some pieces would not be supported in the future; if any parts of their process failed, it could take weeks to identify and then correct or repair the problem. They knew that they wanted a unified solution from a single vendor who was innovative enough to handle as much of their processes as possible.

The Benefits of Cooperative Purchasing

Key West contacted a Passport competitor and got a preliminary quote for their needs. At the same time, a Passport representative suggested they bundle their services to include payment processing and mentioned that Passport Payments has lower processing fees and would allow them to pass along credit card processing fees directly to the parker. Their interest in promoting app-based touchless payments and saving money on credit card processing intensified as the COVID-19 pandemic gripped the country. The leadership in Key West took advantage of the NCPA purchasing group. The purchasing cooperative simplified the process and satisfied their Finance Department and Purchasing Agent, allowing the city to piggyback off the NCPA awarded contract. The city determined that Passport was the right size solution and the best vendor to accomplish its goals effectively.

Practical Upgrades With Passport Enforcement

Key West Parking Department Officers were using handheld ticket writers. They were bulky and a challenge to manage, and uploads were delayed. Switching to Passport’s digital parking enforcement solution appealed to the Parking Department because the solution works well on a smartphone, reducing the amount of equipment the enforcement officer carries while also minimizing the passwords needed. Plus, the equipment uploads from the field in near real-time. When choosing a solution, the City also required comprehensive reporting to ensure that all parking areas are covered and for tracking officer productivity. Passport Enforcement delivers on all of those needs.

Recovering Revenue Lost To the Pandemic

Like many municipalities, Key West leadership was worried about revenue loss from COVID-19 and sought to recover as much as possible. In adopting Passport Payments, they can now pass along fees to parkers to minimize additional loss and shore up incoming revenue.  Key West expects to save 14.7% and recoup around $250,000 in credit card costs with Passport Payments while unlocking favorable negotiated interchange rates. They are confident that their citywide expansion of touchless mobile pay parking through Passport’s Mobile Pay application, Passport Parking, will keep visitors and residents safe.

Future Proof Parking Management

Key West parking leaders wanted to see cost savings, but overall they wanted a fully integrated system for simplification and ease of operation. With Passport, the City can save money on payments, modernize its systems, and make the best use of technology. The increase in mobile payments will lead to better parking compliance and fewer parking pay stations – and less equipment to buy, supply, and maintain. Key West is on its way to being a Smarter City, and the City, its residents, and this popular destination’s visitors will benefit from their efforts to innovate.

Want to see what you could save on payment processing? Email us for a merchant statement estimate at to find out.

Ready to get started?

See our platform in action.

Schedule a Demo