[THE INVESTOR] Starbucks Korea announced on Oct. 22 that it will start cashless operations at 403 outlets here, adding 300 more to the current 103 such stores.
In April, the company started test running cashless operations at three of its branches and expanded the system to 100 more outlets in July. According to the company, it applied the system due to the declining trend of cash payments at its stores here, dropping from 31 percent in 2010 to 7 percent last year. During the last three months, the ratio of customers who used cash to make payments decreased from 3.4 to 0.2 percent.
“At our cashless outlets, we found out that employees do not have to spend as much time. We can operate the stores more efficiently this way,” a Starbucks Korea official Park Sung-hye said in a statement. He also added that the company decided to expand the operations at more outlets because it saw customers following the new system without complaints.
At these outlets, customers can use a credit card, Starbucks card or mobile payment service to pay for their drinks and foods. Customers who only carry cash are recommended to sign up for a Starbucks card at the spot.
The Seattle-based company entered Korea in 1999 and is currently the top coffee chain operator here with more than 1200 store, with its sales reaching 1.25 trillion won (US$1.10 billion) last year.
By Song Seung-hyun (email@example.com)