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Ciara O'Rourke
By Ciara O'Rourke August 31, 2022

Rumors spread that Starbucks is turning its stores cashless, but that’s not quite right

If Your Time is short

  • A sign from a Starbucks cafe in the United Kingdom announcing it was going cashless started rumors that the entire company was eschewing cash. But that’s not right. 

Rumors recently spread online that Starbucks will no longer accept cold, hard cash as payment for its ice-cold coffee, but the company says that’s not true. 

On Instagram, one user wrote, "Starbucks just announced that they’re going cashless." 

This post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)

News outlets in the United Kingdom have reported that the confusion started as an image of a sign with a Starbucks logo was shared among British users online. 

"We’re going cashless," the sign said. "From 1st October 2022 we will only be accepting card, contactless & Starbucks rewards payments." 

The U.S. activist group Young Americans for Liberty shared the image on Facebook, writing, "Too many people have no idea how dystopian a ‘cashless society’ is going to be."

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The claims inspired Starbucks’ verified Twitter account in the United Kingdom to tweet for the first time since November 2021. 

"Starbucks has no plans to go cashless across our UK stores," the Aug. 30 tweet said. "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."

In 2018, in the United States, a Starbucks in Seattle tested a cashless store to see how digital and credit card payments affected customer behavior and experience, CNBC reported.

In May 2020, not long after the coronavirus pandemic began, Starbucks’ then-CEO Kevin Johnson said in a letter to "Starbucks partners and customers" that the company would "shift toward more cashless experiences, knowing that the handling of cash creates consumer concerns about the spread of viruses." 

But a blog post on the company’s website clarified several months later that "cash is always an option, too." 

We rate claims that Starbucks is going cashless False.


Our Sources

Instagram post, Aug. 30, 2022

Starbucks U.K. tweet, Aug. 30, 2022

Starbucks, How to pay at Starbucks, Sept. 15, 2020

Starbucks, Starbucks ceo: The third place, needed now more than ever before, May 4, 2020

CNBC, Starbucks tests cashless store as more customers buy coffee with their phones, Jan. 26, 2018

Tweet, Aug. 29, 2022

North Wales Live, Starbucks issues statement over reports its coffee shops are going cashless, Aug. 30, 2022

Daily Record, Starbucks issues statement following reports U.K. branches going cashless, Aug. 31, 2022


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Rumors spread that Starbucks is turning its stores cashless, but that’s not quite right

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