Mobile Payments

Paying By Coffee Cup Easy Thanks To Australian Telco Optus

Why shouldn’t your coffee cup be able to make mobile payments? That’s the question Australian telco Optus must have been thinking when it slapped an NFC chip inside coffee cups.

According to a report, Optus is partnering with Frank Green, which makes reusable so-called “smart” cups and bottles that let people pay for their coffee with nothing more than their coffee cup. The cups go for $39.95 and include a NFC chip at the base to make contactless payments of up to $100. It only works at payment terminals that take Visa payWave, noted the report.

“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,” Ben White, MD of product and marketing at Optus, said in the report. Optus is no stranger to the wearable payments market; it already has a wristband and PayTag, which works with fitness trackers and watches, noted the report.

While most people think of the wearable payments market from the device side of things with smartwatches, NFC-enabled coffee cups and other wearable things, there’s also a movement on the merchant side as well. Take the upcoming wearable POS solution from stealth startup LibriSpark, which CEO Jeremy Feldman told PYMNTS is designed to bring speed and mobility to both the customer and payment experiences. The solution will include both hardware and software to extend the capability and efficiency of retailers through the use of wearable technology. The POS wearable device will accept a variety of payment methods — NFC, magstripe cards, QR code, etc. — and allow a consumer to make a payment with a merchant on the spot. The “line-busting” solution eliminates the friction that can come with a retailer only having a single point where all transactions take place. As Feldman explained, traditionally, the POS is intended to drive customers to a single point, increasing the likelihood that congestion will occur when it gets busy.


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Our data and analytics team has developed a number of creative methodologies and frameworks that measure and benchmark the innovation that’s reshaping the payments and commerce ecosystem. The PYMNTS Next-Gen AP Automation Tracker, is a monthly report that highlights the most recent accounts payable developments and automated solutions that are disrupting how businesses process invoices, track spending and earn rebates on transactions.

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