A Starbucks store with a sign declaring that it will be going cashless has sparked widespread outrage and more than a little speculation, with many believing that this will apply to every store in the UK.
#BoycottStarbucks began to trend early on August 30 after a photo taken by British broadcaster and political commentator Sophie Corcoran went viral the day prior.
In the photo, a sign with the company’s logo reads, “WE’RE GOING CASHLESS. From 1st October 2022, we will only be accepting card, contactless and Starbucks rewards payments.”
Corcoran commented, “And so it begins” — likely a reference to the threat of a cashless society, central bank digital currency (CBDCs), and how they can be used within the context of a social credit score.
“We need an Act of Parliament to ensure that companies and other bodies can’t turn down legal tender like cash. In the meantime, #BoycottStarbucks,” wrote one Twitter user in response to a tweet that reads, “A Cashless Society is a Surveillance Society.”
Another Twitter user wrote, “A completely cashless Society may sound modern and cool, but what about the homeless? Not everyone has a bank card or a smart device, a bank, an address, a home. It’s not right, especially in a Cost of Living crisis. It’s not the future. Not yet anyway, #BoycottStarbucks.”
Other Twitter users have said this is the perfect time for people to give their business to their local coffee shop rather than the megacompany.
Many took the photo as an announcement that all stores of the popular coffee chain in the UK would be affected by the change. However, the company says this is not the case, and the change is limited to individual stores and their licensees.
“Starbucks has no plans to go cashless across our UK stores, and we want to shut down any inaccuracies or further speculation on this matter,” a Starbucks spokesperson said.
“In the UK, we operate alongside various licensee business partners, which means this may vary from store to store, and the majority of stores continue to offer cash payments to customers.”