Costa’s ‘Clever’ Coffee Cup

January 07, 2019

UK Coffee Chain Costa Has Reusable Cups with Contactless Payment Built In.

Costa’s new Clever Cups are heating up thanks to contactless mobile payments, a $1 trillion market.
The coffee craze has everyone heading to their favorite coffee shops. But, a growing problem is the amount of waste from throwaway coffee cups. Every year, about 2.5 billion cups are thrown out in the UK. In the U.S., with the popularity of Starbucks and Dunkin, 4 billion disposable cups are wasted annually.

Coffee chain Costa based out of the U.K. has introduced a solution. “Clever cups” are reusable cups that include a contactless payment chip. Instead of cups being used for single-usage, the cups are for continuous use.

Clever Cups are for U.K. customers and they can use a seamless chip reader for payment. Customers tap the chip on a payment reader to complete their transaction. The cups cost GBP14.99 (US$19). Customers can add up to GBP30 (US$38). To increase balances, customers can load funds and check balances with the app.

Costa states Clever Cups will help recycle about 500 million disposable cups by the year 2020. The concept is a partnership between Costa, being acquired by Coca-Cola, and Barclaycard.

Barclaycard provides the bPay technology used in the cups. These help customers track how much they spend on coffee. The chips have been used with contactless gloves and bracelets, and other wearable tech.

Costa’s environmental mission emphasizes simplifying customer journeys. Clever Cups comes at a strategic time when consumers are using more tech devices and mobile technology. It’s estimated 23.4 million people will use the app for coffee purchases twice annually.

Mobile contactless payments are estimated to reach more than $1 trillion. That’s based on 451 Research estimates. eMarketer estimates this year the U.S. consumer market for contactless mobile payments will skyrocket to $55 million. And, other coffee chains are set to follow Costa’s lead making it a hot time for mobile commerce transactions, whether you like your coffee hot or cold.


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