Sometimes the best ideas are those that seem so obvious, you wonder why they haven’t been done before. Barclaycard’s first contactless, self-serve beer pump falls into this category.

Using a play on the “Pay @ Pump” options offered at petrol stations, the prototype “Pay @ Pump” beer pump has been designed to reduce queues at the bar on a night out. You go to the pump, scan any contactless card and place a glass under the pump.


Once the payment has been approved, a pint of ale is automatically poured. Sensors in the barrel register how much alcohol has been dispensed and once a full pint is served, the pump closes. The whole process takes 60 seconds.

The pump was designed after a survey found the average wait at the bar on a night out is 12 minutes. It was trialled earlier this week at Henry’s Café and Bar in Piccadilly and if there is enough interest from bars and restaurants, Barclaycard said it may consider rolling out the technology further.

It could also be introduced at festivals, and other drinks beyond ale could be added. Ale was chosen because the angle of pouring doesn’t need to be as precise when pouring lager. The prototype pump only serves one pint per purchase, but the card can be used multiple times throughout the night. Some banks limit the number of contactless purchases, though, so this may reduce the number of pints you can pour.