Who needs a credit card anymore?
Though Japan has a wide range of coffee shop chains all throughout the country, it’s hard to deny the fact that Starbucks is, without a doubt, the most popular coffee shop in Japan. And with an ever-rotating seasonal array of delicious Frappuccinos and cute merchandise, it’s really no wonder.
Besides, Starbucks Japan makes it so easy to buy their products using Starbucks cards. With a prepaid charge card full of money just for Starbucks, how could you not try every new drink that appears on the menu?
▼ Our Japanese language reporter Masami herself is a huge fan of Frappuccinos.
Starbucks already has an array of neat products that serve as contactless payment options called “Starbucks Touch”, which are on sale in their online store. But they’ve recently added a cool new addition: Starbucks Touch The Pen. It’s exactly what you think it is: a pen that you can also use to pay for coffee.
The pens function like a Starbucks card and are able to be read by Starbucks’s IC card touchpads, much like a Suica card or other form of contactless payment. They can be charged like any other Starbucks Touch payment option, so they’re easy to maintain, and to pay with one all you have to do is hold it up to the IC card reader. They make for an quick and convenient payment option, especially when you’re just popping in for a quick cup of Joe on your way to work.
Their sleek, stylish design is no accident. It’s meant to evoke the image of a coffee machine, with smooth lines, a metallic sheen, and an almost electronic look. It’s a completely original design made in cooperation with stationary supplier Zebra, and the gel-style ink inside is not the standard blue or black, but brown, the color of coffee, which will remind you every time you use it how much you love (and want) coffee. You can buy refills of the ink from Zebra’s online store.
They come in three varieties: silver, black, and white, and each one has the Starbucks logo printed along it in its trademark, all-caps font. It also comes in a swanky gift box, so it makes the perfect gift for a Starbucks fan or a busy person who’s always on the go.
The new “touch pens” were released on September 25, and currently sell for 5,320 yen (US$49.52) each, which is 4,000 yen for the pen, plus 1,000 yen to add to the account. (Note that the price will increase to 5,400 yen after October 1, when the tax rates go up.)
You can order one of these stylish pens online from the Starbucks online store, but at the moment they’re all sold out, so keep an eye on the website if you’re a serious Starbucks fan and you just have to have one!