Starbucks Trials A Cashless Future In South Korea

Starbucks Trials A Cashless Future In South Korea
Food & Beverage

The coffee chain is piloting cashless stores at select South Korean locations in response to changing consumer preferences

Matt Vitone
  • 23 march 2018

Picking up your piping hot Starbucks Cherry Blossom Latte or Crystal Ball Frappuccino will soon only be possible via credit card or mobile payment, at least at three South Korean locations where the coffee giant has announced it will begin testing cashless stores.

Starting April 23, Starbucks locations in some of the country’s busiest office districts, including Gangnam and Guro in Seoul, and Pangyo in the nearby city of Seongnam, will begin testing a new cashless system. When launched, it will mark the second such trial for Starbucks, following the opening of its first cashless test store in its hometown of Seattle, Washington.

While credit card use is generally on the rise everywhere, South Koreans are particularly fond of busting out the plastic or using their phones to pay, with daily average credit card spending in the country hitting a record-high of 1.76 trillion won ($41.65 billion) last year, according to government data cited by the Korea Times.

In explaining why its testing cashless stores, Starbucks Coffee Korea said cash payments have been “constantly declining” at locations across the country, falling from 31% of total payments in 2010, to 15% in 2013, to just 7% of all purchases last year.

“As our customers’ mobile payments and use of credit cards continue to increase, we want to provide a more innovative and seamless payment experience through this trial,” said Lee Seock-koo, head of Starbucks Korea, in a press statement.

The company added that findings at these test stores will be analyzed to help inform the potential of cashless systems at other locations. Starbucks first opened in Korea in 1999, and had 1,140 stores throughout the country as of last year.

Starbucks


Lead Image: Starbucks

Picking up your piping hot Starbucks Cherry Blossom Latte or Crystal Ball Frappuccino will soon only be possible via credit card or mobile payment, at least at three South Korean locations where the coffee giant has announced it will begin testing cashless stores.

+Asia
+financial services
+Food
+Frictionless Transaction
+mobile
+retail
+South Korea
+starbucks
+Transactions & Payments
+USA
+work

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