Starbucks' move follows the launch by Barclaycard and Orange last week of Quicktap, the UK's first commercial NFC service.
Subject to a successful initial pilot of contactless in Starbucks shops, the technology will roll out across the bulk of Starbucks coffeehouses in the UK and Ireland from Spring 2012. Orange customers with a Quick Tap-enabled handset will then be able to simply tap their mobile phone on a Starbucks contactless reader to make purchases of £15 and under.
"At Starbucks we're as committed to customer service as we are to great coffee," says Pete Blower, EMEA technology services manager at the company. "We're seeing more and more people use cards for payment and contactless will allow us to serve our customers more quickly and with greater ease."
"It's great to see such a well known name as Starbucks realising the benefit that contactless technology can bring to their customers and their business," added Barclaycard's Marc Pettican. "Coffee shops are the perfect environment for contactless payments because so many of their customers are in a rush to get their drink and go. That Starbucks has decided to introduce contactless is great news for a brand seen as technologically innovative."
"Starbucks' take up of this new technology shows we are reaching a tipping point where contactless payments will become a mainstream way to make fast, secure, low value transactions," explained Mark Austin, head of contactless at Visa Europe. "Increasing acceptance by retailers and demand from consumers means the growth of contactless payments is set to accelerate quickly and will be widely visible in the run up to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games."