Potatoes, coffee, pork chop – and a nod: parking buffs in Cologne will be able to pay for their misconduct in the future with their remaining purchases at a supermarket checkout. The fourth largest city in Germany started a corresponding pilot project on Wednesday – the city and municipal association knows no other municipality in which such a system is already in use. It should make it easy, quick and anonymous to ensure that so-called warning money for parking violations ends up in the public box office. A sometimes cumbersome transfer is then no longer necessary.
The system works like this: If you have parked incorrectly in Cologne, you will now receive a barcode for your “hearing letter”, as is known, for example, from deposit receipts. It can be separated and paid for within a week. To do this, you go to a store and have it scanned – alone or with other purchases. You can also pay in cash, which was previously difficult with nodules.
Personal information is used in the process according to city information not transmitted. Cashiers only have a barcode in front of them. Even the receipt does not reveal that someone is repenting their traffic sin with milk and cheese. Another person could also pay the fine.
“Nobody wants the deadlines to expire”
For the project, Cologne has teamed up with the company Cash Payment Solutions, which brings the dealer network with its service called “cash payments”. This includes more than 12,000 retail outlets – not just in Cologne, but nationwide. A Berliner or Hamburger who was only there for the weekend could also use the new payment method. A Link to the branch finder also be printed on the payment slips.
The supermarkets and drugstores involved include Rewe, Penny, Real, dm and Rossmann. Among other things, “cash numbers” is also a cooperation partner of online banks and thus enables deposits and withdrawals from or to accounts at the cash register.
“The city of Cologne is the first municipality to offer this service,” explains the company. “I don’t think anyone is happy when they get a ticket,” says Cologne city councilor Dörte Diemert. “Nobody wants the deadlines to expire and we are then going to be fined.” Now provide the citizens with an additional “everyday practical way”. It is a step towards modern and digital administration.
10 million euro fine
First, the city wants to see for a year how the new system will be adopted. There are enough test options. In 2019 there were around 722,000 warning fees in Cologne with a volume of around 10 million euros. The Federal Employment Agency already shows an example that the same way can go in the other direction. In 2019, it introduced the possibility of having an unemployment benefit advance paid out at a cash register nationwide. This is also based on a cooperation with Cash Payment Solutions. (With material from dpa) /