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Starbucks opens first cashless store

The single-location cashless pilot scheme will begin this month in a store located in the lobby of an office building, The Seattle Times reports. Within the Russell Investments Center no coffee will be served and no payment accepted unless its by a means other than cash, such as credit card or via a mobile payment service.

The adoption of a no cash payment process is in keeping with many modern cities and a reflection that fewer people are carrying cash, especially millennials who prefer cashless transactions. While this retail gamble could well pay off the Starbucks store in question is taking an initial gamble, according to Business Insider in that the store will not be displaying any using signage to notify customers that it is not taking cash. Instead it is up to the baristas to convey to customers the new rules.

Starbucks has indicated that it will gather feedback from customers and staff about the scheme and the decision to roll out further will not simply be based on analyzing till receipts, there will be a qualitative aspect too centered on customer experience.

How successful the scheme is may rest on how well mobile payments work. Although services like Apple Pay, Square Cash and Google Wallet are popular, theses services can suffer from occasional wobbles. Should these be overcome then the concept could be taken up by other low-transaction cost retail services and rival coffee chains.

Starbucks’s encourages regular visitors to use its mobile payment and ordering app. There’s one exception to the ‘no cash’ rule – staff are allowed to accept any tips in the form of notes or coins.

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Dr. Tim Sandle is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for science news. Tim specializes in science, technology, environmental, business, and health journalism. He is additionally a practising microbiologist; and an author. He is also interested in history, politics and current affairs.

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