- Associated Press - Monday, July 21, 2014

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - Lincoln could end up spending $1 million to install a system that will allow parking meters to read new credit cards that have computer chips instead of magnetic strips.

Wayne Mixdorf, the city’s parking manager, said it would cost $500 per meter to read new credit cards, the Lincoln Journal Star reported (http://bit.ly/1sEe4PJ ).

The new credit cards - which Visa and Mastercard have announced they’re moving to in October 2015 - each contain a computer chip that requires the cardholder to enter a four-digit code to authorize the transaction. The microchip cards are intended to hamper thieves from stealing credit card data and are more difficult to counterfeit.

Mixdorf said Lincoln has about 2,400 meters and that more than half can read credit cards. He said the equipment to read the new credit cards for parking meters isn’t available yet in the United States.

Last year, officials spent about $650,000 to install credit card-reading meters.

Mixdorf said he expects credit cards to have both a chip and a magnetic strip for several years as the country moves to the new cards. He said it will likely be five to six years before the city will have to update its parking meters to read the cards. The card-reading equipment on the meters has a seven- to 10-year life cycle.

Parking meters generate about $1.8 million in revenue every year.

The mayor’s proposed two-year budget, for 2014-15 and 2015-16, includes no money to change the meters. Mixdorf said any changes will likely happen during the budget cycles that start in 2016.

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Information from: Lincoln Journal Star, http://www.journalstar.com

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