Starbucks has announced the release of an actual pen that consumers can use to pay at the register in Japan, according to reports.
The pen is the fourth product released in the Starbucks Touch line in the country. Previous Touch releases included a phone case and a flask. The company also released an NFC-enabled bag called The Hug, which was only available for a very limited time.
The pen is said to have a sleek appearance and writes in a coffee-brown ink. It is NFC-enabled and connects directly to the customer’s digital wallet. The device runs on FeliCa technology, which is very popular in Japan and is also used to power the coffee company’s card system.
The pen will go on sale in a week and will be available in black, silver and white. It will cost about $37 and will come pre-loaded with about $9.
Starbucks announced at the end of last year that it was expanding its presence in Japan and plans to build 100 new stores per year over the next three years, which would bring its store count to 1,700.
“The strength of our brand in Japan, the momentum in our business and the spirit of our partners who proudly wear the green apron give me great confidence in our ability to elevate the customer experience and drive growth to continue to build our brand,” Kevin Johnson, Starbucks president and chief executive officer, said in a press release at the time. “We continue to thoughtfully evolve within Japan’s elevated coffee culture to maintain a leadership position and achieve profitable growth for the long-term.”
In addition, the company announced it would open the Starbucks Reserve Roastery in Tokyo in the Nakameguro district. This is the fifth Starbucks Roastery globally, but the Tokyo location is the first of its kind, designed and built in collaboration with world-renowned architect and Kuma Lab Founder Kengo Kuma.