Starbucks: is coffee chain going cashless in UK, is it legal and why is #BoycottStarbucks trending on Twitter?

The hashtag #BoycottStarbucks is trending in response to reports the coffee chain will no longer be accepting cash as payment

Starbucks have addressed reports that all of their coffee shops in the UK will become cashless.

The global coffee chain has issued a statement after one of their stores in Bradford put up a sign telling customers that the franchise would be going cashless from October 2022.

The sign has been shared on social media, with backlash against the coffee chain inspiring a #BoycottStarbucks hashtag to trend on Twitter.

Here’s everything you need to know about whether or not Starbucks is going cashless.

Starbucks has addressed rumours the coffee chain is going cashless in a statement (Pic: AFP via Getty Images)

Is Starbucks going cashless?

Starbucks has confirmed in a statement that the coffee chain “has no plans to go cashless” in the UK.

The confusion came about after one of their stores in Bradford put up a sign telling customers that the store would be going cashless from 1 October 2022.

Starbucks operates in the UK alongside other licensed business partners, which means that store policy will depend on the owner.

The chain has reiterated that this is not a company-wide policy and that although this store may be going cashless, this is not the case for the franchise as a whole.

They have reassured customers that many other stores will accept both methods of payment.

In an effort to set the record straight, Starbucks issued a statement on Twitter, denying claims that the coffee chain was going cashless in the UK.

They said: “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.”

Is it legal?

In the UK businesses can legally opt to not accept cash if they offer an alternative payment method.

However, this works both ways, with businesses also being able to take cash only and refuse payments by card.

Why is #BoycottStarbucks trending on Twitter?

The hashtag is trending in response to reports that Starbucks in the UK will no longer be accepting cash as payment from 1 October.

The coffee chain has confirmed that this is not a company-wide policy and that the method of payment accepted depends on the store owner.

The sign caused a stir on Twitter, with people calling on others to boycott the coffee chain if they won’t accept cash.

People have expressed their concerns about moving into a cashless society and the impact it could have on people who have no access to a bank account.

On Twitter user @MrSteveAntony said: “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”

Whilst others who oppose the move voiced conspiracy theory fears about surveillance and control.

However some Twitter users called out the conspiracy theories.

Twitter user @washedupandy said: “I’ve seen one person on the #BoycottStarbucks tag say “a cashless society is a surveillance society”. That’s a great point that you just made from your smartphone, via your Twitter account that you log into with your e-mail address.”