Home News First Data’s Matt Ball Joins ParkMobile As CTO, Looks to Autonomous Parking Future

First Data’s Matt Ball Joins ParkMobile As CTO, Looks to Autonomous Parking Future

by Muriel Vega

Smart parking and mobility solutions company ParkMobile has added technologist Matt Ball to its team as CTO to expand the company’s technology footprint in the market. Ball has over 18 years of experience in fintech and comes directly from First Data Corporation, where he was responsible for executing the company’s North America technology plan and security initiatives as VP of Global Business Solutions Technology.

I feel my background lends itself well to that type of service with quality and at scale,” says Ball about his new role. 

“I feel very fortunate for the opportunity provided by ParkMobile and energized by the commitment of this leadership team to invest in the technology organization,” Ball told Hypepotamus. “The future of this company is very bright and I am excited to be a part of it.” 

Earlier this year, ParkMobile was acquired by BMW Group. The company is in over 3,000 locations across North America and has grown over 30 percent year-over-year.

Ball shares more about his immediate goals to create actionable insights for ParkMobile’s technology and expand the company’s reach globally — including looking to a future with autonomous vehicles and smart cities.

What attracted you to ParkMobile as a company and making the move from financial services to parking solutions and software?

With ParkMobile, I saw the personal opportunity to join a high growth company committed to digital disruption in the industry. Opportunities in this business extend well beyond parking. The company has an amazing vision around driving “smart mobility” for everyone, everywhere. So the possibilities are exciting to me.

I am still very much a technologist at heart and I love to be surrounded by an engineering team that is constantly pushing the boundaries, introducing new technologies and design patterns. It’s amazing to see what this team has done with modern tools and technology like Swift for iOS, React.JS for web development and cloud for back-end hosting services. This only adds to my excitement about the company.  

How does your previous experience in payments and digital strategy help you in your new role at ParkMobile? How will that experience help you drive further innovation into the company?

This industry actually shares many similarities and is closely aligned with transaction and payment processing. ParkMobile is about enabling mobility and the transactions that occur behind that, whether that be parking, charging, transit or other services for the driver and automobile. And our consumers have the same expectations of our service as they do Mobile Banking in terms of being always on and always right. I feel my background lends itself well to that type of service with quality and at scale.

The bigger opportunity for us is to build out innovative solutions for large venues, municipalities and operators who want more visibility, control and flexibility over their parking assets. This means we will need to invest heavily in our reporting and analytics that will empower our clients to make smarter decisions that increase revenue and efficiency for their operations. We currently initiate over 250,000 transactions per day and are growing exponentially. The challenge will be to pull the insights out of that information to help our clients succeed.

What are your immediate goals as CTO and how are you surveying the current state of the company to create actionable insights for those goals?

My immediate goal is to find ways to contribute early and often. We have a great team in place and I know I have a lot to learn from them. I plan to spend ample time listening and formulating a plan of attack. Simultaneously, I want to find ways to contribute now, whether that is specific to payment processing or system scalability. There is no shortage of quick wins out there.

So, I’ll be rolling up my sleeves to get some stuff done in the short term while spending the time to ensure we have the right structure, talent and operating rhythms in place to support our ambitions in the future.

What kind of analytics and milestones will help you and the ParkMobile team scale further and expand to other markets, nationally and globally? 

The good news is that we are already rapidly expanding across North America. We are opening new markets every week. About 1 in 20 drivers now has the ParkMobile app on their phone and we have built a strong technology infrastructure to process millions of parking transactions every week. As more cities are becoming smart cities, we see the demand for our solutions continuing to increase over time. What is really exciting to me is the future of parking and mobility. We are already working with several OEMs on in-car solutions for parking and other mobility related services.  

You can see a future evolving with autonomous vehicles that drop you off and then go park themselves. While the car is parked, our technology can process the payments for parking, charging and initiate other vehicle services like maintenance or even a car wash. It is a very exciting time in the industry and we are uniquely positioned to deliver on our vision for smart mobility.

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