During a recent business trip to the UK, I was dining with my colleagues at a local eatery. After settling in at our table, the waitress asked if she could take our drink order. Surprisingly, it took a lot of back and forth to understand each other on account of our accents and to our shock and dismay, we learned that not ALL restaurants in the UK carry beer! We had assumed, based on our preconceptions of the UK, that it would be easy to order because both parties spoke English and that the beer would be plentiful; in both cases we were incorrect.

The point of this anecdote is that we often assume that one or two commonalities equate to homogony and it is important not to fall into this trap when preparing to enter a new market. Just because American motorists and British motorists share a common language – for the most part – their parking preferences may be dramatically different.

In my observations, many British motorists still prefer traditional coin payment as the culture of credit card is not as ubiquitous as across the pond. Particularly in the UK, there appears to be more of a convergence between transit and parking, allowing motorists to use the same contactless card to pay for their Tube, bus or parking fare. In the US we see rising usage rates of credit card payments for parking and the proliferation of mobile payment companies and app developers.

While differences exist, we all share the desire for convenience, customization and ease of use.