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RingGo acquires iControl Mobile Payments

RingGo Inc. has entered into agreements to acquire all of the substantive assets of iControl Mobile Payments LLC for an undisclosed sum.

The consideration is payable in cash and will be settled out of existing resources. IControl Mobile is a United States-based start-up in the emergent field of phone parking that has operational contracts both on the East Coast and in the central rust belt of America.

“IControl Mobile has made headway in establishing a brand within the pay-by-phone market in the U.S.,” said Amie Devero, managing director of RingGo, Tampa, FL. “Instead of beginning from scratch in this market, RingGo gains the advantage of the relationships, branding and established identity within the U.S. market from day one rather than after months or even years of groundwork.

“We expect to grow slowly at first, by strengthening the foothold already in place by iControl Mobile in the northeast, especially in New Jersey and other portions of New England,” she said.

“But fundamentally, our growth will be governed by the interest already gleaned for a pay-by-phone solution, and that interest is nationwide.”

The RingGo service is usually offered as an alternative to other non-barriered payment methods such as street meters, bay parking machines and pay-and-display machines, pay at barrier and attended car parks. 

The annual market for parking revenues in North America and Europe is estimated at $65 billion, offering a significant opportunity to the company.

RingGo has been deployed at more than 3,000 separate parking lots, garages and street locations across Britain. 

IControl Mobile was established as a wholly owned subsidiary of iControl Systems USA LLC, known as iCUSA. It is a bar code-driven data and billing consolidation specialist.

Using its proprietary software, iCUSA is a partner to most of the large grocery, drug and convenience store chains operating in the U.S., including Stop & Shop, CVS, Barnes & Noble, Safeway, Kroger, Hess, Chevron and Rite Aid. The company operates in all 50 states.

RingGo controls iControl
Existing management will continue to run the iControl Mobile Payments business. RingGo claims that the majority of customer-facing iControl employees are transferring too.

RingGo acquired iControl Mobile as a stepping stone by which to bring its phone parking service from Britain into the U.S. market.

North America has for some time been one of RingGo’s preferred choices for international expansion.

Ms. Devero said that RingGo will benefit from:

• Continued association with the established iControl Mobile payments brand

• Immediate entry into the developing U.S. market

• The transfer of an established sales pipeline

• Adoption of a number of operational U.S. reference sites

• An existing management team: Ms. Devero will continue to be the managing director of the company

Consumers are only too aware of the inconvenience associated with most methods of paying for parking, per Ms. Devero.

Even credit card-accepting meters still require standing in inclement weather to pay, refilling in person and having either a credit card or currency out in the open while standing, vulnerably, on a street.

“More Americans now have mobile phones than televisions, so pay by phone addresses the most common object virtually all Americans have at-hand constantly—their cell phone or PDA—and in so doing solves many ills of paid parking,” Ms. Devero said.

“Mobile payment in the parking sector has begun to approach the tipping point, going rapidly from being a little-known high-tech novelty to being a service that the consumer market as a whole is awe of and interested in having access to,” she said. “That consumer demand is percolating upward to the management tier of the parking world.

“We will see mobile payment in a variety of forms grow exponentially over the next two-to-three years, with parking as a thin end of the wedge.”