Costa's New Reusable Cup Can Pay for its Contents

By Tom Pritchard on at

Reusable cups are all the rage these days, because we realised that it's quite difficult to deal with those paper things coffee shops normally hand out. Also we like saving money, and we've started having to pay more for not being environmentally conscious. Well the whole process is starting to get more convenient, because Costa and Barclaycard have developed a contactless cup that can pay for its own contents.

The 'Clever Cup' features a contactless base that runs on Barclaycard's bPay technology that miraculously hasn't been slaughtered by the likes of Apple, Android, Samsung, and all those other, better mobile payment systems. It's not the first time Barclays has added bPay to random things as part of some sort of stunt, with the bank released bPay-powered touchscreen gloves and jewellery. Plus the usual array of bPay products.

The downside to bPay is that it won't automatically charge your credit or debit card when you make a purchase, and instead you have to keep tabs on a virtual wallet. As annoying as that may be, could help you keep control of your coffee budget each month. The Clever Cup also costs £15, though it promises £1 will go to The Costa Foundation. Still that's quite a lot, especially since you can combine a regular reusable Costa cup with a bPay sticker for less.

I would assume, however, that the Clever Cup is more water friendly than stickers, though the there's no mention of that in the press release.

Jason Cotta, Managing Director at Costa Coffee said:

“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 behaviour.

Whilst we are committed to ensuring more takeaway coffee cups are recovered and recycled we also want to incentivise and reward customers who help reduce the number of takeaway cups being wasted. 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."

Rob Morgan, Head of Sales and Partnerships, at Barclays said:

“Today's shoppers are looking for seamless and 'to hand' ways to pay. 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. We're proud to be working with Costa Coffee to give the UK another compelling reason to carry a reusable cup as part of their daily routine."

It'll only be convenient if you don't hand your cup over before you pay, though. I can foresee many an awkward conversation happening if the barista doesn't quite get what's going on. Still, if you want one Costa promises that they'll be available in "late November", which is, well, now. So expect to see them any day now, unless you only ever go to Starbucks or Cafe Nero.