Contactless ice cream van trials part of 'age of convenience' push, says Fujitsu commercial boss

By Stuart Hodge
A trial is taking place in London this week which is looking at transforming the way people pay for a cone from an ice cream van. Barclaycard is testin...

A trial is taking place in London this week which is looking at transforming the way people pay for a cone from an ice cream van.

Barclaycard is testing a self-serving prototype which the bank says could reduce waiting times by up to eight minutes.

The way it works is by creating separate two queues at the van – one for customers who just want a standard vanilla cone and one for those who wish to buy any other items.

Those who want the classic vanilla cone pour it themselves and pay with a contactless card whilst those who want other products queue up and pay in the traditional way.

Although no other flavours or product varieties are available yet, there is excitement that the technology could help retailers hold onto customers who, studies show, are becoming increasingly impatient.

Rupal Karia, who’s Head of Commercial for Fujitsu UK and Ireland, reckons it’s a positive move by Barclaycard.

He said: “The retail sector is always looking for new and innovative ways to make the customer’s experience more enjoyable and convenient. 

"This latest trial from Barclays with the ‘contactless cone’ is testament to that, giving a queue-shortening option for those who wish to buy a vanilla cone. 

"Queuing is part of the retail journey which both customers and retailers themselves are growing increasingly impatient towards in the age of convenience.”

Karia revealed that Fujitsu’s latest study into the matter found that 8 out of 10 consumers would spend more with retailers who have a better technology offering available to support the shopping process.

He added: “We have seen a steady increase in desire for convenience amongst consumers, wanting things to be made as easy for them as possible. 

"Eventually consumers will reach a point, if they haven’t already, where they will not stand for long queues to pay for an item, and as a consequence will end up leaving shops where the wait is too long. 

"That is why by bringing innovative new ways to change the way a store – or in this case ice cream van – functions, retailers can enhance the shopping experience to make it more interactive and seamless journey and boost customer loyalty along the way.”


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