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Oz telco lets you pay for your coffee with your coffee cup

18 November 2016  |  6107 views  |  2 optuscup

The movement to turn every object on the planet into a contactless payment device continues with Australian telco Optus sticking an NFC chip in coffee cups.

The firm has teamed up with Frank Green, maker of reusable 'smart' cups and bottles, to enable people to pay for their coffee without carrying their wallets or even phones. A chip in the base of the $39.95 cup lets customers make payments of up to $100 at payment terminals that accept Visa payWave.

Ben White, MD, product and marketing, Optus, says: "These new additions were developed to answer customers asking for added convenience and choice, and to provide more options to take their money with them when they are out and about."

The cup is just the latest wheeze in Optus's wearable payments push. The firm also has a wristband and sticker option as well as its 'PayTag' which attaches to fitness trackers and watches.


Comments: (2)

A Finextra member
A Finextra member | 18 November, 2016, 09:47

What a ridiculous gimmick! Im my view gimmicks such as this simply add to customer confusion and do little to add credibility to the payments process. I'd far rather carry a card in my wallet or a simple wearable than trounce around carrying a coffee cup that would need to be welded to my hand for fear of losing it!

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Ketharaman Swaminathan
Ketharaman Swaminathan - GTM360 Marketing Solutions - Pune | 18 November, 2016, 17:41

I agree with @AFinextraMember that this specific instance is a "ridiculous gimmick". So are the plethora of mobile wallets in the market. The medical store in my building has been accepting plastic card payments for over a year. He then added PayTM, India's most popular mobile wallet, around six months ago. Then came mVisa via PayZapp around three months ago. Since the announcement of #CurrencySwitch on 8 Nov 2016, he has added support for 4 more mobile wallets in just one week. His storefront is now festooned with stickers for 7 brands of mobile wallets now. It's become very confusing to the average consumer.

But I sometimes wonder if this is just a sign of living in the "frontier" era for mobile wallet technology. Would love to hear from Finextra members if they saw a such a vast array of plastic cards in the early days of plastic cards, from which just a couple of brands - V/MC/AmEx - emerged as the survivors. Is there any reason why the same won't happen with mobile wallets and contactless payment products that seem to be gimmicks today?

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