Flash PARCS: Offline Mode

Modified on Fri, 07 Jun 2024 at 02:15 PM

The Flash PARCS Offline Mode enhancements allow a Flash PARCS location to continue operating when the Payment Gateway, Local ISP, or the Flash Cloud services are unavailable. The enhancements are designed to make sure the parkers' experience isn’t disrupted allowing for ingress and egress as if online, and also ensures operator revenue is protected and reported on accurately.


What is offline? 

When a PARCS location goes offline, the standard functionality of kiosks, gates, and payment processing is impacted because the internet connection is necessary to carry out many of these functions.

A PARCS location is considered “offline” when any of the three essential internet connection components experience a failure. These components include:

  • Cloud Server Connection: Powering the cloud services that facilitate various functionalities.
  • Local Internet Connection: Provided by the Internet Service Provider (ISP) at the specific location. 
  • Payment Gateway Service: Facilitating the processing of online payments.


Offline Mode Enhancements

The enhanced Offline Mode is built into the Flash PARCS application and is designed to detect offline events and automatically switch to Offline Mode to ensure the location continues its operations using the most recently stored data.


Key Developments of Offline Mode:

  • Connection stability detection layer
  • Rate Structures and calculations are available at the garage level
  • Parker session is synced and stored locally (Monthly, eParking, etc)
  • Data Hydration to cloud when systems are back online/stable
  • Kiosks can be restarted even if “offline”
  • Enhanced revenue protection during Hybrid or Store and Forward modes


Hybrid Mode 

Hybrid Mode occurs when all other services are available except the connection to the Flash cloud server (Flash backend services). The Location is able to continue most functionalities because the Flash application pulls down the most recent key data from the server and acts as an interim while the cloud server is unavailable. Any transactions or parking events (entries, exits, etc) that occur during Hybrid Mode are processed in real time because the Flash Hybrid Mode bridges the connection to the other online systems. The data and activity are saved during Hybrid Mode and syndicated back to the Flash Cloud Server once the connection is re-established.


Offline and Store and Forward

If the local internet network or payment gateway is unavailable, but the Flash Cloud Server is online, all payment transactions will be captured through a store-and-forward method. The Flash system will retain encrypted credit card information while maintaining PCI compliance and will attempt to process the transaction once connectivity is restored.


Visual Indicators 

Online
Hybrid (FLASH OS is greyed out)
Offline
Data Sync



In addition to the kiosk screen visual queues, Transient tickets will print with 5 digits (instead of 8) during an offline event.



Functionality Compatibility with Offline Mode 



FunctionHybridOfflineStore and Forward
Paper ticket / Credit Card and Mobile # EntryTickets issued while in Hybrid or Offline will be displayed with 5 digits. 
Reinstate SoftClosed TicketsPreviously soft closed transient tickets will be reinstated if initiated at exit.
Transient Payments via USAePay
*Real-time transactions

*Store and forward

*Store and forward
Lost Ticket PaymentsLost Ticket at kiosk and via LPR are supported.
PrePay at Entry Supported with USAepay 
PIN AccessPIN Codes linked to prices are NOT Supported on Entry, while in hybrid/offline but can be scanned on Exit. No Store and Forward for partial payments.☑️☑️☑️
Printed ValidationsBarcodes are supported but eValidation is Not Supported.
eValidationsValidation portal is not available and displays Offline Message
CouponsNot supported for Hyrbid or Offline
eParking Reservations
Flash Pass
Digital Ticket CheckoutNot supported: Payment accepted via DTC but not at recognized kiosk. 
Pay by Plate/Space (FlashMobile Kiosk) Not Supported: Kiosk presents error.
Pay of Foot Not supported: Kiosk presents error.
Self Validation Kiosk or TabletNot supported: Kiosk presents error.n/a



Transient Functions (with Windcave EMV)

Function
HybridOfflinePayment Gateway Down - EMV 
Paper ticket / Credit Card and Mobile # EntryTickets issued while in Hybrid or Offline will be displayed with 5 digits. 
Reinstate SoftClosed TicketsPreviously soft closed transient tickets will be reinstated if initiated at exit.
Transient Payments via WindcavePayments processed via 
*No Store and Forward
Lost Ticket PaymentsLost Ticket at kiosk and via LPR are supported.
*No Store and Forward
PrePay at Entry 
*No Store and Forward
PIN AccessPIN Codes linked to prices are NOT Supported on Entry, while in hybrid/offline but can be scanned on Exit. No Store and Forward for partial payments.☑️☑️☑️
Printed ValidationsPrinted barcodes supported.
Val portal is not available Self Validation.
eValidations via portal Not Supported
CouponsPrinted barcodes supported. Val portal is not available.
eParking ReservationsCurrent reservations supported payments processed eParking access via LPRn/a
Flash PassNot Supported


Overnight  

Function
HybridOfflinePayment Gateway
Hotel Prepay
Hotel PassesSupported IF passes were issued before the hybrid / offline event.N/A
PMS (Hotel Key Card)Supported IF key cards were activated before the hybrid / offline event.
Late Checkout FeesNot Supported

 

PARCS + Valet 

PARCS and ValetHybridOfflinePayment Gateway
PARCS AccessN/A


Monthly

Function HybridOfflinePayment Gateway
Access Credentials  *Except IVR and PINAll available credentials N/A
IVR and Monthly PIN CredentialsOptions hidden while in hybrid or offline.Monthly PIN accepted at Exit if generated at entry while online. N/A
Profiles EnforcedN/A
Multi-ProfilesEnforcedN/A
PassbackEnforcedN/A
Nested EnforcementNot Supported: Violations reported in error. N/A
Account Status EnforcedN/A
Late Fee on KioskAccess allowed but no overage charges at kiosk. 
Report GroupsNot Supported: Occupancy won’t update wi Offline.N/A
MembershipNot Supported 


The development of Offline Enhancements is progressing through multiple phases, and the current status is detailed below for the release of Phase 1. The above list will be updated as additional functions are released.

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