Coffee Shop Innovation Expo logo

19 & 20 NOV 2019



The Cash-Free Coffee Shop in the Heart of Belfast

A coffee shop located in Belfast has transformed into a cash-free zone; meaning it only accepts payments from bank cards and banking apps. The new city centre cafe called Kaffe-O’s is now a tap-and-go set-up. 

Orla Smyth, Kaffe-O’s boss, says that the reason they decided to become a cash-free zone is to make life easier and more convenient for both customers and staff. Regular customers can even use an app to tally and accumulate loyalty points instead of using the old-fashioned card.

Smyth has explained that a cashless coffee shop isn’t seen as abnormal in other parts of the world, such as Scandinavian countries. The ethos and offerings available in Kaffe-O’s are very Nordic; this is because of Smyth’s background as she used to work in Denmark as a corporate lawyer. 

“There are multiple reasons as to why we decided to become a cash-free zone! Efficiency was a key factor, as it’s much quicker for customer and barista to complete the transaction, particularly at busy times” said Smyth. 

She added: “dealing with cash within a small space can be challenging and brings with it issues such as banking the money, and security. Other factors are that it’s quite expensive to process, time consuming and labour intensive.” 

We also wondered whether this change to a cashless establishment has increased or decreased the amount of customers they serve. Smyth has said that the Kaffe-O’s has lost a few customers, however that loss of trade has caused minimal damage because tap-and-go card payments are much quicker, the coffee shop can serve more customers at peak times.