App lets users purchase beach badges for the Jersey Shore
An app growing more popular at the Jersey Shore allows users to buy their beach badges on their phones and avoid the long lines.
It's called Viply. Founder and president John Masterson of Manasquan says it acts like an E-ZPass to get onto the beach.
Through Viply, which is free, a user enters the business of his or her choice, whether it be a beach, a park location or some other venue, then pays with a credit card. Masterson noticed that some shore towns were not offering the ability to pay by credit card and reached out to apply his app's service to beach badges.
Users can purchase seasonal beach badges or daily beach tags in advance and take advantage of some of the discounts that some municipalities offer, Masterson said.
"The individual, when they get to the entrance point after making a purchase will launch the app, and there's a button to check them in," Masterson said. Press the button, then point the phone to a QR code the beach attendant is holding. When the phone connects with the code, it validates the purchase.
An animation pops up, shows the individual's name, what kind of badge was purchased whether it be season or daily badge. It then verifies that to the beach attendant.
The app is in its third year. In 2016, a beta test was done with a few shore towns. In 2017 there was a more complete rollout. In 2018, Masterson said, 40,000 people registered for beach badges with Viply. So far in 2019, 85,000 have registered, but he's expecting much more.
Sixteen Jersey Shore towns are participating: Manasquan, Sea Isle City, Ventnor, Longport, Asbury Park, Avalon, Bradley Beach, The Ocean Grove community in Neptune Township, Bay Head, Long Branch, Ship Bottom, Sea Bright, Seaside Heights, Stone Harbor, Brigantine and Beach Haven.
Masterson hopes two more towns will come online this summer. There is a convenience fee for Vipl, which is about $1 or $2 added to the cost of a beach badge, depending on the price of that badge.
Live action from the beach at Belmar, New Jersey, courtesy of NJBeachCams.com.