Starbucks UK Just Made An Important Announcement About Its Payment Options

Earlier this month, UK Finance released a report that projected the future of payment in England, predicting that cash will only account for 6% of all transactions by the end of 2031 (via Finextra). The report claims that upwards of 23 million Brits shifted their money habits last year, swapping cash almost exclusively for debit cards (which were used for nearly 50% of all payments) and other contactless methods, according to The Guardian

Just like in the States, where restaurant franchises like McDonald's have been moving away from traditional payment methods, many UK businesses stopped accepting notes and coins to slow the spread of germs during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, moving digital point of sale systems into the foreground and locking away their cash registers. That trend is poised to continue. "Rather than the UK becoming a cash-free society over the next decade, the UK will transition to an economy where cash is less important than it once was but remains valued and preferred by many," a UK Finance rep told The Guardian. 

While a huge swath of shoppers would be content to never fish bank notes from their wallets again, others are less eager for the payment shift. Those in the latter camp were relieved when Starbucks UK confirmed on Twitter that it will continue to accept cash for the time being, despite rumors to the contrary.  

Starbucks UK has 'no plans to go cashless' any time soon

Droves of UK customers pushed to #BoycottStarbucks on Twitter this week after seeing a viral image of a sign at an undisclosed outpost of the coffee giant. "From 1st October 2022, we will only be accepting card, contactless & other Starbucks rewards payments," it reads. While data from UK Finance shows that a cashless society is certainly on the horizon, customers were shocked by the abruptness of the warning. "We need an Act of Parliament to ensure that companies and other bodies can't turn down legal tender like cash," reads one tweet

Starbucks UK took to Twitter to clear up the confusion. "Starbucks has no plans to go cashless across our UK stores," writes the company. "We operate alongside various licensee business partners in the UK, so this may vary from store to store and the majority of our stores continue to offer cash payment options." The responses were mixed, but those who wanted to #BoycottStarbucks were pleased. According to The Guardian, pro-cash customers have been using physical money to help keep their budgets in check during widespread inflation. "When you're physically handing over solid money, it just makes you think twice," one customer told the outlet. For now, Starbucks fans who prefer cash over card will still be able to use their payment method of choice to buy a cup of coffee