Coffee Shops and Apple Pay


I just found out the Pete’s Coffee takes Apple Pay, and it’s causing some dissonance in me.

I have a particular Starbucks that I frequent, and I generally like Starbucks better than Pete’s, but I dislike the payment process enough for it to be annoying.

And so when was in the Pete’s across from the Apple Store in Burlingame a couple of days ago, and paid with Apple Pay, it was seriously refreshing. It was almost enough to make me switch coffee shops.


There’s one thing that may hold me back: rewards programs. With Apple Pay you just raise your phone (or wrist) and you’re done. This is brilliant, and it’s what makes the system so nice, but it has the downside of lacking the customer context.

This is what CurrentC is supposed to address, but I think it’s going to be crushed by Apple Pay (if it even becomes enough of anything to warrant a crushing).

So I guess my question for people in the know is this: what’s the Apple Pay answer to rewards programs, especially for places like Pete’s where it’s all about frequent numbers of small transactions.

Do I somehow prove the transaction and get credit for it? And if so, how transparent can this be? Or is it simply an either-or situation, where I either get the convenience of Apple Pay or I get the gasification and savings of a rewards program?

If so I’ll probably still take the former, but I want to be sure of the tradeoff before I make it. I hope there’s an elegant solution to the Apple Pay scenario.

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