Australians May Soon Complete Payments With An NFC-enabled Reusable Coffee Cup

Many different types of alternative payment solutions have been tested and trialled in recent years. QR code support and contactless payments are just two examples of introducing new technology into the financial ecosystem. But if it is up to Optus, an Australian telecommunications provider, we will soon pay for coffee with a customised coffee cup.

Paying For Coffee With A Cup Sounds Ridiculous

As is the case with any new concept introduced in a financial setting, there is a certain uneasy feeling when learning what this Australian telco has planned. Sticking NFC chips in coffee cups doesn’t sound out of the ordinary, but using that same cup to complete payments is very odd, at best. But for coffee houses and shops, this could be the new solution they have been craving for.

To be more precise, the concept would require reusable smart cups and bottles. Every object would have its own NFC chip, which can be used to complete payments of up to AU$100,  assuming the payment terminal at that retail locations accepts Visa payWave. Unfortunately, this will hinder the chances of success for this concept.

Every cup itself seems to cost AU$39.95, and through its NFC connection, is more than capable of completing transactions. Users would be able to top up the device’s balance at home with their payment card, which means that they can leave wallets at home. Moreover, the coffee cup can be used for payments other than your daily dose of coffee.




This concept is being created in collaboration with Frank Green, who produces these reusable smart cups and bottles. For now, it remains unclear if and when this product will roll out to mainstream Australian consumers and retailers. Optus has been exploring other wearable payment solutions in the past, including a wristband and PayTag, which can be attached to a watch or fitness band.

Optus MD product and marketing Ben White told the media:

“These new additions were developed to answer customers who ask for added convenience and choice, and to provide more options to take their money with them when they are out and about.”

From a convenience point of view, a smart reusable coffee cup that makes payments seems logical. A lot of people walk around with coffee in their hands during the day, thus, the sight of this would not be unusual. That said, with the AU$100 pay limit per transaction, it remains to be seen how often people would use their cup to pay. Moreover, if the technology fails to complete a transaction, both consumer and retailer will suffer.

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