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This coffee cup can be topped up with cash to pay for your drink

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Top up and pay with a cup

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Image: Costa

The UK coffee chain Costa has announced plans to sell a reusable coffee cup called the “Clever Cup” that doubles as a way to make payments via a removable NFC chip (via Engadget). As well as getting you the same 25p discount that using your own cup already grants you at the chain, the chip should theoretically let you leave your wallet in your pocket while you’re grabbing your coffee fix.

The cup is able to offer this contactless payment technology thanks to a partnership with Barclays. Its bPay initiative has already brought payment technology to devices including wearables and smartwatches. A maximum of £15 of credit can be added to the chip at a time via the bPay app, and it should work anywhere contactless (read: NFC) payments are accepted. Incidentally, this includes rival coffee chain Pret a Manger, which offers a more substantial 50p discount.

Fundamentally, we’re on board with anything that encourages people to pick up a reusable cup over the disposable alternatives. Less than 1 percent of the billions of coffee cups used in the UK every year are actually recycled due to a plastic polyethylene coating that’s used to make them waterproof. The Clever Cup is expected to go on sale in late November in Costa stores for £14.99.