Starbucks branches in Hong Kong are now accepting bitcoin payments and are offering 20% off discount for the purchase using the Fold app. This app is a U.S. startup that is affiliated with the Bitcoin Association of Hong Kong.
To avail of this, a customer has to visit https://coffee.foldapp.com/ and receive his personal Starbucks code. This will initially show a balance of $0 until it is loaded with bitcoin through the app. It may indicate that the app is untested outside of the U.S. but it is already currently working in Hong Kong.
Bitcoin Payments for Coffee
Bitcoin payments loading options include denominations of $5 or $10. To spend this and avail of the discount in Hong Kong’s Starbucks branches, simply tell the cashier that you will be paying via gift card. The barcode scanner will then be used on the Fold app indicating your current balance then you will get a receipt containing your remaining balance.
This balance can still be topped up later on, as long as you enter your email address in the app to ensure that you can access your funds again. The Fold app also enables users to get their remaining balance back in bitcoin, requiring the user to enter his or her bitcoin address for the refund.
This goes to show that even large coffee retailers are opening up to the idea of accepting bitcoin payments, even for physical transactions. Prior to this, most bitcoin payments have been concentrated in the online world without face-to-face transactions and delivery.
More merchants are expected to try this payment scheme in Hong Kong, as the country is one of the more open-minded ones when it comes to financial innovation in Asia. In the U.S., the Fold app is being used in Whole Foods and Target, also among the top retailers in the country.