Convenience for all Canadians
Whether you’re parking your car, taking the public bus, or even trying to catch a cab, sometimes paying for these services comes with a challenge. In a world of credit and debit payments, paying for transportation seems to have been left a bit behind in Canada.
What if there was a different way of doing things? What if there was an app that could allow you to pay with your phone instead, rather than having toonies and loonies weighing down your pockets?
Well, that’s exactly what a Canadian company named HotSpot is doing.
Back in 2013, a University of New Brunswick student, Phillip Curley was given the opportunity to work with the City of Fredericton on improving parking payments and hasn’t looked back since. “I ended up leaving university to pursue it, and I’ve been doing it since that time,” says Phillip.
HotSpot is a small business with a team of just over ten members, focused on providing Canadians with convenient access to municipal transportation services and parking.
HotSpot’s app (available on iOS or Android), allows Canadians to pay for parking, bus, and taxi services all through their phones.
“It’s all about convenience,” says Phillip.
Based in Fredericton and now taking over most of the east coast including Halifax, Charlottetown, Saint John, Moncton and even Acadia University, HotSpot’s goal is to provide all Canadians with hassle-free transportation payments.
Choosing a business and domain name
Choosing a name for HotSpot's website wasn’t easy at first.
“We used a brand name generator and just put ‘parking’ in. We kept going until we got HotSpot and that sounded pretty good. Over time, we ended up buying hotspotparking.com, but we don’t use it that much because people just know us as .CA.”
After the name was decided, hotspotparking.ca was used, but that had to change soon after HotSpot branched out of just parking and into transit as well. Today, the website is htsp.ca.
“We really decided to focus with .CA just because we’re a Canadian company and there are some intangible values that come along with that.”
Today’s website helps customers download the app onto their phones and showcases just how easy it is to set up and use on a daily basis. Their website is also used for municipalities across the country interested in what HotSpot has to offer for their communities.
“If you want to use the app, it tells you how to get that. If you want to learn more about our business because maybe you’re a potential client of ours, it tells you more about our business,” Phillip states.
When asked why .CA over another top-level domain, Phillip has a lot to say, but his main point is because, "it's who we are.”
“Our customers are Canadian. They just know that we’re going to have a higher level of security, and a higher level of professionalism around data policies. That’s something that we lean on as a Canadian brand.
“People respect Canada in the market and know that we’re forward thinkers in terms or privacy, security, and data tracking. It was just obvious that it made sense for our brand and who we are.
“We have to represent us being Canadians.”
Advice for future entrepreneurs
When asked for advice on entrepreneurship, Phillip says that authenticity is key.
“You have lots of competition online. You have lots of competition in the world. The only thing you can do is be authentic and provide a service or product that people want and good customer service. That’s when customers will come looking for you."
Great Canadian businesses, projects and ideas start with a .CA domain name – if you’re looking to get online, reserve your domain name today: