A photo taken at a Starbucks coffee store in the U.K. that claimed the store will be going cashless, effective Oct. 1, 2022, has gone viral.
“We’re going cashless. From 1st October 2022 we will only be accepting card, contactless Starbucks rewards payments. Please ask our team for further details,” Starbucks signage seen in the photo says.
VERIFY viewer Mel also emailed us to ask if it was true Starbucks was going cashless.
Is Starbucks going cashless?
No, Starbucks is not going cashless in all locations. There are some stores in the UK that have gone cashless, according to news reports, but it’s not a corporate policy.
WHAT WE FOUND
“Hello, In the U.S. and Canada we have made no announcement of going cashless. Starbucks accepts cash,” a tweet from Starbucks said, in response to a Twitter user who shared the viral photo.
A corporate Twitter account targeting European customers, StarbucksUK, also confirmed all of their stores aren’t going cashless.
“Starbucks has no plans to go cashless across our UK stores. 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 tweet said.
VERIFY reached out to Starbucks for further comment. In a statement, a Starbucks spokesperson said: “Starbucks has no plans to go cashless across our U.K., U.S. or Canada stores and we want to shut down any inaccuracies or further speculation on this matter.”
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According to a news report from The Telegraph & Argus, a daily newspaper in West Yorkshire, England, a sign with the same text as what was seen in the viral photo about going cashless was spotted outside a Starbucks store in the city of Bradford.
In 2018, one Seattle Starbucks refused to accept cash as part of a test program to see how customers reacted to the cashless system. The program was set to last about two weeks, according to a report. The store was located at Seattle’s Russell Investments Center and is no longer open (the closing was unrelated to the cashless test).
The Starbucks website says there are multiple ways someone can pay at their stores – and cash is listed as an option. Accepted methods of payment include:
- Starbucks Cards
- Apple Pay
- Google Pay
- Bakkt App
- Credit or Debit Cards: Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover Credit Cards are accepted in-store
In the U.S., any business is legally allowed to refuse payment in cash if they so choose.
According to the Federal Reserve: “There is no federal statute mandating that a private business, a person, or an organization must accept currency or coins as payment for goods or services. Private businesses are free to develop their own policies on whether to accept cash unless there is a state law that says otherwise.”
The Treasury Department also has said there’s a long history of businesses restricting cash – pointing to some public buses that don’t take certain currencies or businesses that refuse large tender, like $50 or $100 bills.