Coffee chain's reusable Clever Cup brews up contactless payment

Costa, a UK chain, will let you pay for your latte with your cup.

Sean Keane Former Senior Writer
Sean knows far too much about Marvel, DC and Star Wars, and poured this knowledge into recaps and explainers on CNET. He also worked on breaking news, with a passion for tech, video game and culture.
Expertise Culture, Video Games, Breaking News
Sean Keane

The Clever Cup includes a contactless payment chip


A UK coffeehouse wants you to pay with your reusable cup, so you can save the environment, get your caffeine quicker and perhaps become a more loyal customer.

Costa is launching the Clever Cup equipped with a Barclaycard contactless payment chip, the companies said Wednesday.

The £15 ($19/AU$27) cup can be topped up using Barclay's bPay app.

The cup's chip will actually work wherever contactless payments are accepted. The cup has a silicon base and the chip is removable so you can wash the cup.

"We hope to appeal to ... tech-savvy customers to help facilitate and drive environmentally friendly behaviour," Jason Cotta, Costa's managing director, said in a statement. "We already offer a 25p discount on hot drinks in all our stores for customers using reusable cups, and hope the innovative Clever Cup will become an additional incentive for increasing the use of reusable cups."

Innovative payment and coffee seem to go hand in hand. Starbucks started offering a payment app in 2010 was crowned the king of mobile payments in May. Starbucks beat out Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay for the title.

The shaky world of coffee maker startups

See all photos

CNET's Holiday Gift Guide: The place to find the best tech gifts for 2018.

Follow the Money: This is how digital cash is changing the way we save, shop and work.