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Brief Published: 3 Dec 2018

Costa Clever Cup Offers Contactless Payments

Costa Clever Cup

British coffee chain Costa's latest marketing initiative offers customers a Clever Cup that can be used to pay for refills. It's the latest in a number of brand innovations in the contactless payment space that are set to transform the way consumers buy.

Embedded in the cup is a Barclaycard bPay payment chip, which not only enables customers to buy their Costa coffee, but also allows them to make purchases anywhere contactless payments are accepted. The Clever Cup sells for £14.99 ($19.15), and £1 from every sale is donated to the Costa Foundation for youth education. Tying purchase convenience to sustainability is a clever way to build brand loyalty.

It's also the latest example of a fintech innovation trend that aims to align new payment tools with specific consumer moments. In 2017, Australian firm Inamo partnered with Visa to enable festival-goers to pay for goods using sunglasses featuring an embedded payment chip. The project grew out of Inamo's waterproof payment wearable The Curl, which was developed for surfers. Both tools aim to solve the problem of consumers worrying about the safety of their cards and wallets at such locations.

This month, Inamo announced it will be trialling similar initiatives in the US for the first time, starting in California. Contactless payments have yet to fully take off in North America, but in September, Visa launched a marketing push intended to drive increasing awareness for US merchants. Opportunities for customer engagement along the lines of Costa's Clever Cup will undoubtedly follow.

For more on fintech innovation, see The Future of Money.