As pubs and bars in the UK get busier in the run up to Christmas, Barclaycard has uncorked a way to reduce the time people spend waiting to be served. Pay @ Pump is a beer pump that allows customers to pour their own pint and pay with a contactless card in as little as a minute.
According to Barclaycard, people spend an average of 12 minutes per order waiting to be served over the Christmas period. The Pay @ Pump system is designed to reduce customer queuing time and speed up service.
"I'm sure everyone has been stuck behind the person who orders the most complicated cocktail on the menu or a round of 10 drinks for their group of friends," explains Barclaycard's commercial director for digital consumer payments Tami Hargreaves. "When people told us that waiting time was one of their biggest annoyances, we wanted to help solve a common problem with a simple solution."
The prototype pump has a touchscreen on which drinks are ordered. The customer then uses a "contactless card" or device to pay and positions a glass underneath the nozzle. A sensor detects glass placement and triggers the pump to begin dispensing the drink.
At present, the pump is set up to dispense ale, but it could be configured to dispense any drink. Barclaycard says the whole process can take just 60 seconds, assuming there is no queue for the pump itself.
The Pay @ Pump prototype was installed and tested this week at Henry's Café and Bar in the Piccadilly area of London.