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article imageReusable coffee cup with in-built contactless payments

By Tim Sandle     Nov 28, 2018 in Business
Costa Coffee, a major British coffee chain, has launched a reusable coffee cup that comes in-built with a contactless payments function. This not only provides payment convenience, it also helps to promote recycling.
Costa is the biggest coffee chain in the U.K., in terms of number of outlets and franchises, out performing rivals like Starbucks and Cafe Nero. The chain has recently been sold by Whitbread to Coca-Cola, signifying Coke's further attempts at diversification. The sale was valued at £3.9 billion ($5 billion). Coke’s ready-to-drink coffee brands already include Honest Coffee, Chaywa on-the-go coffee in South Africa and Georgia cold brew in Japanese retail. The Costa purchase, however, is a much bigger deal.
With the U.K.'s love of coffee rivaling that of the U.S. and with coffee having overtaken tea as the nation's favorite drink, coffee is big business. The downside of this, however, is represented by a poor level of recycling of coffee cups. Just 1 percent of coffee cups are recycled, according to the U.K. government's Environmental Audit Committee (as reported by The Independent).
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Many coffee chains offer reusable cups, which can be purchased in-store and offer a discount if one of the reusable cups is taken to be filled with coffee. despite this, take up remains low. In an attempt to boost the use of reusable cups, Costa has latched onto the growth of contactless payments and had the brainwave of integrating the two concepts - a reusable cup that comes with a contactless payments system in-built.
This is, according to Engadget, a detachable contactless chip powered by Barclaycard's bPay payment technology, located in the cup's detachable silicon base. The cup's chip can be topped up online and the cup itself costs £15 ($20).
Jason Cotta, Managing Director at Costa Coffee stated: “Contactless technology has become increasingly prominent in our daily lives and through the launch of the new Costa / Barclaycard Clever Cup we hope to appeal to those tech-savvy customers to help facilitate and drive environmentally friendly behavior."
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