CLAIM: Starbucks will stop accepting cash at its stores in the U.K.
AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. Starbucks is not going cashless at all of its U.K. stores, but individual franchises can choose not to accept cash, according to a statement posted on the company’s U.K. Twitter account.
THE FACTS: Claims that all Starbucks locations in the U.K. are going cashless spread on social media early this week after multiple signs from at least one of the chain’s stores were photographed and shared online. “We’re going cashless,” one sign states. “From 1st October 2022 we will only be accepting card, contactless & Starbucks Rewards payments.” Another simply describes the store’s accepted payment methods.
The Telegraph & Argus, a newspaper covering the northern England city of Bradford, reported on a local Starbucks location that displayed such signs.
Word of the signs led to a flurry of posts on Twitter.
“Starbucks across the UK are no longer accepting cash,” one tweet read. “To be fair, they’ve been experimenting with random branches around the country going cashless over the last year. This final roll-out was inevitable. Who’s next?”
Another claimed, “Starbucks in the UK going cashless! Are the US & Canada next? #cashlesssociety.”
Other users expressed concerns about the implications of a cashless society in light of Starbucks’ purported decision, such as a possible lack of accessibility for individuals without bank accounts or fears of state surveillance.
But in a statement on its U.K. Twitter account, Starbucks said on Tuesday that although individual Starbucks franchises can choose not to accept cash, reports claiming that all of its U.K. stores will have such a policy are incorrect.
“Starbucks has no plans to go cashless across our UK stores,” the statement reads. “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.”
A Starbucks spokesperson further confirmed to The Associated Press that claims about all of its U.K. locations (as well as its outlets in the U.S. and Canada) going cashless are false, adding that the company wants “to shut down any inaccuracies or further speculation on this matter.”
This is part of AP’s effort to address widely shared misinformation, including work with outside companies and organizations to add factual context to misleading content that is circulating online. Learn more about fact-checking at AP.