Jumping The
Beer Queue

Cohn & Wolfe


An Experiential
High Street Installation

We’re very proud to say that this campaign won the PR Week Award 2017 for Financial Services. Needless to say, we raised a few glasses in celebration.

The Brief

Contactless is great, but
what else can it do?

Contactless payment was introduced to the UK in 2007. As of September 2016 there were 98.9m contactless cards and 419,431 terminals, generating 275.1m transactions per month.

With the technology well established, the challenge now is to find new ways to use it to increase the speed and convenience of transactions.

Christmas party season was coming up, and research had revealed drinkers queue for an average of 12 minutes per order during the festive season, 35 minutes per night in total. As a result, almost 20% of us go elsewhere when facing a lengthy wait.

There was our challenge: to build the world’s first automated, contactless beer pump, and help beer drinkers jump the cocktail queue.

The Solution

We built Pay@Pump

If this was to be the beer pump of the future, it needed to look the part and work seamlessly.

First up, we needed a futuristic looking font. For this we turned to bespoke furniture designers Splinterworks. They designed a single piece, sculptural form, which we 3D printed and chrome plated.

With the form sorted it was time for the function. We’d taken the barman out of the process, so the pump had to do all the talking and show customers how to pour their own pint! So we installed a touchscreen to animate through a series of easy instructions and offer the simplest of call to actions… ‘touch to buy’.

Let’s Go Contactless

And now for the
pay & pour!

We needed to add a lot of tech to ensure the perfect pint every time.
To handle payments we installed a contactless reader to the base of the font and added a pulsing LED light surround to add a visual cue to when payment was required. Behind the elegant design we had Arduinos, regulators and flow meters hooked up to web-sockets and Node.js ensuring the customer experienced a seamless serve.

The result

A Perfect Pour

We thought people may raise a glass to a contactless beer pump. But we had no idea they’d start popping corks left, right and centre.


190 pieces of press coverage across titles as varied as The Sun, The Guardian, Wired and Esquire


1.4 billion combined audience of press titles who covered the story