World's first contact-less payment, self-service beer pump installed in London bar

17 December 2016

The world's first contact-less payment and a self-service beer pump will be tested by consumers during the height of pre-Christmas party season in the UK's bars and pubs.

With Pay@Pump, drinkers can order and pour their own pint and pay using a contact-less card or device touched on a pad at the base of the pump.

The technology had been devised by Barclaycard,  and a prototype designed and installed in a Central London pub, Henry's Café Bar - to help cut the queuing time for customers buying drinks during busy periods.

The average waiting time at the bar during the Christmas party season averages 12 minutes per order, according to research carried out for Barclaycard, which would total 35 minutes per person during a festive night out.

Almost one in four (24 per cent) of bar-goers admitted they had considered abandoning a drinks purchase due to long bar queues, while 20 per cent had gone elsewhere when facing a lengthy wait.

''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,'' said Tami Hargreaves, the commercial director, digital consumer payments, at Barclaycard The Guardian reported. ''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 demand for more contactless methods of payment was increasing, Barclaycard claimed, with their research suggesting 28 per cent would like to see contactless system made available in every bar and pub nationwide.

The firm's Contactless Spending Index showed, the number of contactless payments had increased by 112 per cent in the past year.

A spokesman for Unite, a union which included bar staff in its representees, said, "The consequence of the contactless card system would be that [managers] would be expected to cut back on staff even further so the queues could easily increase on a busy night," The Telegraph reported.

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