Starbucks teams up with Japanese clothing brand to create new contactless payment system

Global coffeehouse chain Starbucks has a huge fanbase of dedicated customers in Japan. They can’t get enough of the limited-edition beverages on offer, and when it comes to merchandise, customers here have been known to wipe the shelves clean of Japanese-exclusive drinkware and goods as soon as they appear in-store.

Now there’s another limited-edition exclusive that Starbucks lovers are scrambling to get their hands on, and this time it comes in the form of a small leather keychain. Called “STARBUCKS TOUCH The Drip“, the keychain incorporates a special chip that allows users to pay for purchases by simply touching the leather surface on the contactless payment reader in-store.

To see how the system works, and the cool types who use it, check out the promotional video below.

The new keychain works the same way as the touch-and-pay system involving pre-bought Starbucks cards and top-up “mobile cards” on smartphones, which are currently used in conjunction with the existing electronic readers. Having a stylish keychain at the ready to pay for your coffee, though, is an effortlessly chic way to handle your daily coffee run.

The company behind the keychain’s design is Japanese clothing brand Beams, which has been providing the street-culture obsessed youth of Tokyo with trendy threads since it was established in the city’s hip Harajuku district 40 years ago. With offices now in New York, London, Paris, and Milan, Beams knows how to appeal to the fashionable desires of customers, and with the new Starbucks-branded keychain, they’ve created a good-looking accessory that takes its inspiration from the coffees served at the well-known chain.

Each keychain is crafted in the shape of a coffee drop, just like the ones you’d find in the making of a drip coffee. The colour palette has also been carefully thought out, with green and orange representing the corporate colours of Starbucks and Beams respectively, while black symbolises coffee, white symbolises milk, and brown recalls the image of a freshly made latte.

The keychains retail for 4,240 yen each, which includes a base price of 3,000 yen plus a balance of 1,000 yen, both excluding tax. The items have been so popular they’ve already sold out online, but some are still available to purchase at the Beams store in Harajuku and the following seven Starbucks outlets in and around the Omotesando and Harajuku areas of Tokyo: Omotesando B-SIDE; Kitasando; Yoyogi; Meiji Jingu-mae Metropia; Jingumae 6-chome; Omotesando Jingumae 4-chome; Tokyu Plaza Omotesando Harajuku.

Source: Starbucks

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