Some Starbucks Are Suffering From a Payment Outage and Giving out Free Coffee

by Joseph Walent 0

Contactless payment

 Those of us that care to overindulge in our caffeine habit were giving a bit of a gift on Tuesday. The limits of digital payment systems effected a harsh wake-up call for consumers of Starbucks products late Monday and throughout Tuesday. The timing of the outage of the payment acceptance system led some to speculate if it was at least in part due to the “WannaCry” ransomware that had proliferated over the weekend, but by many accounts it was a self-inflicted outage.


As part of our normal course of business, overnight we worked to install a technology update to our store registers in the U.S. and Canada. A limited number of locations remain offline, and we are working swiftly to resume full operations in each of these stores. The stores will remain open during this time and, as always, our partners are prepared to take care of our customers to ensure they have the best experience possible. – Starbucks


The incident underlines just how tenuous the stability of digital payments is still, and no enterprise, even an acknowledge leader in the space of single merchant digital wallet innovation like Starbucks is exempt. Mercator Advisory Group sees this outage as both an exemption to the durability that resides at the core of most firms POS systems. Nevertheless, it also serves as a reminder that we are still in the early stages and retaining redundancies, namely cash, will remain with us for the foreseeable future.

Overview by Joseph Walent, Associate Director, Customer Interactions Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Group

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