Pay for coffee by tapping your cup, not your card

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Pay for coffee by tapping your cup, not your card

Something new for cafe staff to get used to: paying by cup.

No, not paying by the cup, paying with a cup.

Introduced early this year, the Frank Green SmartCup looks like a normal - if unusually spill-resistant - reusable coffee cup.

But there's a reason for the SmartCup name: the cup incorporates a NFC chip (the same technology built into contactless credit cards, public transport fare cards and some smartphones) that works with the CaféPay payment and loyalty system.

It seems customers also need the CaféPay app for their iPhone or Android phone to set up an account and find nearby cafes that accept CaféPay.

The first cafe to accept payment via SmartCup was Little Rogue in Melbourne's CBD. "We love being the guinea pigs," Little Rogue said on its Facebook page .

Although Frank Green's web site only lists a 355ml SmartCup, Little Rogue says an 235ml model is now available too.

The CaféPay/SmartCup combination seems a minor convenience when picking up your regular heartstarter on the way to work, but could really come into its own when making a coffee run for several colleagues - tap each cup, and everyone's paid for their own drink. While that makes life simpler for customers, cafe staff will need to be able to spot SmartCups and be prepared to adjust the processes slightly to accommodate that situation - but it should be quicker than paying cash for each separately, as there's always someone in the office that doesn't have the exact change. And anyway, cash is sooo 20C! 

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