Contactless Ice Cream Van to Cut Queues In The Heat

The days of queuing at ice cream vans could soon be a thing of the past – after the world’s first ‘contactless cone’ vehicle was trialled in London.

The prototype van allows eager customers to touch their bank card on a built-in pay pad and pull themselves an ice cream, cutting the time spent waiting in line.

It was developed by Barclaycard and trialled this week on London’s South Bank in partnership with ice cream van merchant, One Coronetto.

By enabling customers to serve up tasty frozen treats themselves, the vendor is free to assist those wanting lollies and other refreshments.

By the end of the summer months 65 per cent of Brits will have bought a frozen treat from an ice cream van – with a third making a purchase at least once a month.

Barclaycard came up with the idea after a study of 2,000 UK adults found they typically endure an eight-minute wait every time we try and buy a 99.


It also emerged four in ten admit to being frustrated by long wait times at ice cream vans, with 26 per cent revealing they’ve become so frustrated at the delays they’ve simply left empty handed.

Tami Hargreaves, director of innovation and partnerships at Barclaycard Mobile Payments said: “Ice-cream vans have long been a real staple of British summertime.

”To mark the 10th anniversary of contactless payment being introduced in the UK, we wanted to celebrate this popular tradition with a prototype.”

“‘Touch and go’ payments are continuing to soar in popularity, so that’s why we developed ‘Contactless Cones’ – where the ice cream doesn’t melt away but the long queues do.”

Almost one third of those who took part in the study said they wanted to see ice cream vans offer contactless payments as standard.

Amid this, the research also found vanilla is the UK’s favourite ice-cream flavours, followed by mint chocolate chip in second place and chocolate in third.

Strawberry took fourth spot and salted caramel secured fifth.

Vince Bianco, owner and ice cream vendor, One Coronetto, said: “I was delighted to partner with Barclaycard on the ‘Contactless Cones’ trial to see how contactless technology could help me serve even more ice-cream fans over the busy summer months.

“I am always looking for innovative ways to improve my business and anything that allows me to serve double the number of happy customers and reduce the queuing time is a ‘win’ for me.”



  1. In the UK more than £4 billion is spent using contactless technology every month.
  2. By 2021 the number of Brits paying by contactless payments is expected to go up 317 per cent – saving UK shoppers an estimated 141 million hours at the check-out.
  3. According to Barclaycard data, paying with contactless is seven seconds faster than paying by Chip and PIN  – and 15 seconds faster than paying with cash.
  4. In 2016, contactless spending increased by 166 per cent, with usage among the over 60s growing faster than any other age-group.
  5. Seven in ten Brits use contactless payments more frequently now than they did 12 months ago.
  6. Fifty-one per cent of card transactions at £30 or less are now made using contactless.
  7. Pubs and bars are enjoying a roaring trade with contactless usage in this sector going up by 79 per cent last year.
  8. More than a third of shoppers admit they now pay by cash less often and a quarter use Chip and PIN less often – all in favour of contactless payments.
  9. Two in five retailers – who accept contactless – plan to become completely cash-free in the next five years – if they aren’t already.
  10. Contactless mobile payments also appear to be increasing in popularity, with the amount spent by users of Barclaycard’s Android Contactless Mobile up 90 per cent over the past 12 months.



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