We worked with Wilson Parking to complement its digital transformation initiatives by reinvigorating its mobile apps.
The Need: Revamp mobile apps to jump-start a contactless parking experience
Wilson Parking is one of the largest car parking management companies in Hong Kong, with a sizable presence in Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Korea, and China. As part of its digital transformation initiatives in Hong Kong, Wilson Parking looked into revamping its website and mobile apps.
They envisioned the apps as touchpoints that provide drivers real-time parking information to nearby Wilson Parking-owned car parks and help customers manage their monthly parking subscriptions. Wilson Parking sees the mobile apps as the first of its many projects to achieve a contactless parking experience.
Wilson Parking already had a website for its customers to manage their subscriptions. The mobile apps had similar functions. Initially, the plan was to connect the mobile apps to the website’s back end. We found, however, that it wasn’t extensible (i.e., can be easily enhanced/upgraded without modifying the original code base), so it cannot expose application programming interfaces (APIs) for the mobile platform.
Oursky’s Strategy: Enable API-driven development to enrich user experience
We partnered with Wilson Parking’s team to revamp both the back end and mobile apps. These were the highlights of our work:
Revamped back end for cross-platform app development support. We reworked the back-end infrastructure with our serverless solution, which provides software development kits for iOS, Android, and web. This enabled the mobile app to be integrated with an existing website.
Enriched user experience through third-party services. We integrated several services to expand the app’s functionalities, which include:
- Google Map API to provide an interactive experience when drivers look for car parks nearby
- Openrice API to provide suggestions for dining and other recreational activities
- Integrated eight payment gateways in Hong Kong, such as Stripe, O!epay, FPS, Alipay and Octopus card to help customers plan their subscriptions
- Added an optical character recognition (OCR) solution to extract receipt information from offline payments to help customers with no online payment tools
Adopted a hybrid development methodology, agile and waterfall. While we worked with a fixed-cost approach, we stuck with bi-weekly sprints. We planned at the beginning of each sprint, daily stand-ups with developers, and exploratory QA tests at the end, after which we provided updates to Wilson Parking.
The Result: A smooth car parking experience to customers
Our work with Wilson Parking went beyond makeovers. With the overhauled back end and revamped mobile apps, Wilson Parking delivered more than just subscription management to their customers. By implementing auto-scaling through Docker and enabling API-driven development, they were able to provide a hassle-free parking experience for customers, and even added features that would delight their customers. In fact, we helped include its iPark system, its contactless parking solution, for select park parks in Hong Kong. Now, all their customers need is a smartphone to find and book their spots in seconds.