Barclays puts an NFC chip in Costa coffee cups
Starbucks has established itself as a model for mobile payments among coffee drinkers, but Barclays is partnering with a U.K. coffee chain to take it a step further by bringing the coffee cup itself into play.
The card issuer has joined forces with Costa Coffee to launch integrated contactless payments technology in a reusable coffee cup that enables users to pay by tapping or waving the cup itself.
Though reporting a delay in the rollout this month, Costa Coffee expects to have the Clever Cup available in stores soon. The cups will cost £14.99, with a £1 donation from every sale going to the Costa Foundation.
It's becoming nearly an annual occurrence for Barclays to partner in delivering a payment chip called bPay in new wearables or devices in an effort to minimize the use of cash. Its efforts range from chips embedded in a Case Station smartphone cover, in gloves and jackets, and even in saddles for donkey rides.
"Our wearable chip technology allows almost any accessory to be transformed into a smart payment device, unlocking the benefits of speed and ease in everyday purchases," Rob Morgan, head of sales and partnerships at Barclays, said in a Monday press release.
The Clever Cup has a silicon base with a contactless chip that can be detached for ease of washing. Owners can use the cup to make purchases in Costa, or anywhere else that accepts contactless payments.
In using bPay technology, users can track their spending, top up their balance, and take control to block or cancel the contactless payment element online or using the dedicated app.
Costa also is rolling out a reusable cup range to encourage customers to ditch single-use takeaway cups.
"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," Jason Cotta, marketing director at Costa Coffee, said in the release.