The new way to pay for parking in Monmouthshire was put through its paces by reporter CHRIS WERE.

The Beacon reported several weeks ago that county council car park customers in Monmouth and the surrounding area will be able to pay fees via their mobile phone after Monmouthshire County Council (MCC) launched cashless parking payments with PayByPhone. The new scheme came in on Monday, November 1.The council has partnered with PayByPhone to offer drivers cashless parking at 2,383 parking spaces across its 18 off-street car parks.The PayByPhone app is available for Android and Apple phones. The PayByPhone service is still available to those who don’t wish to download the app though its website It’s also possible to use the service through the website on other internet devices such as laptops - however you will require an internet connection.The app is rather strightforward to use. Each user downloads and installs the app, adds in their car(s) number plate, adds in a payment method - such as a debit card - and the app’s all set up.Once set up, all the customer needs to do is - once they’re parked in their MCC car park of choice, they open the app, select their car park, select their vehicle (if they’ve added more than one), enter the length of their stay and pay.The map is an easy way for users to pick their car park, however they may also use a car park code - a six digit number. The app also suggests car parks near to you for added convenience.There are a number of immediately noticeable convenience benefits to using PayByPhone. Firstly, you can top-up your parking from your phone. If a user is delayed in returning to their car, they can simple add extra time onto their parking stay right from their phone.It also saves that extra return-trip to the pay-and-display machine, which can take a few minutes in a larger car park. It also saves waiting in the queue at the pay-and-display machine during busy moments. There is also a feature which allows users to pin the location of their car on a map, to remember where it’s parked. The app is available in Welsh.During the two week trial of the app, it has appeared to have lived up to its claims of being a convenient payment method for car park users. Beacon readers are invited to share their experiences with the app through out letters page or via social media.