Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


PayPal for that Coffee?

PayPal Coffee

Now a PayPal App can buy coffee — and more!

Telegraphe Cafe, a tiny but tony coffee spot on 18th Street in Manhattan may not look like the cutting edge of electronic commerce.  It’s just a hole in the wall along a busy street, just down the way from a facility used for meetings, concerts, and events. But Telegraphe Cafe is sending a clear message to its customers by embracing electronic commerce that skips over the need for a credit card, a magnetic swipe machine, and related charges to banks. Instead, eBay’s PayPal division (which may act like a bank, but isn’t) is collecting fees from caffeine-starved customers who wish to pay with the swipe of an App.

Just as the Internet disrupted travel agencies, bookstores, and the U.S. Post Office, the possibilities of “pay by swipe” (of the finger, not the credit card) become clear when paying with an App — in this case PayPal.

I already had a PayPal app on my phone. All I had to do was sign in, hit the “local” button on the App, make sure I had a photo of myself loaded into the App (a crude but effective tool to reduce fraud), and then the retailer was able to “see” my phone and charge me $2.35 for a cup of coffee.  It was easy, painless, and even generated a receipt at my request.

Other electronic payment methods have yet to catch on. Google has invested a mint in Google Wallet, only to be ignored by most stores and most consumers. Google Wallet was designed as a “touch it and go” method — but it requires the phone to have Near Field Communication chips inside.  Many Android phones have that.  iPhones do not.  Hence, the shortage of interest by a wide swatch of consumers (and stores.)

But an App can be agnostic.  There are still some steps one has to take to use PayPal to buy stuff, but it’s a pleasant upgrade from swiping cards and signing your signature.

And I suspect it’s the “swipe of things to come!”

So this morning I got a message from Telegraphe Cafe.  It was the future!

About the Author
Dave Arland is a 22-year veteran of the consumer electronics industry, working now to promote digital satellite services and broadcast mobile TV. He played a key role in the introduction of HDTV, mp3 audio, and electronic books. He runs Arland Communications, a full-service Public Relations & Communications agency from offices in Carmel, Indiana.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Coffee Drinker

    June 27, 2013 at 7:31 pm

    The main thing PayPal solving is that you don’t have to carry a credit card or cash, but I don’t think they are simplifying the process. In any case, I wanted to mention a new site — — which makes it easy to find coffee shops near you and invite anyone for via e-mail or Facebook for coffee. Try it out at

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You May Also Like


ecoustics is a hi-fi and music magazine offering product reviews, podcasts, news and advice for aspiring audiophiles, home theater enthusiasts and headphone hipsters. Read more

Copyright © 1999-2024 ecoustics | Disclaimer: We may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site.

SVS Bluesound PSB Speakers NAD Cambridge Audio Q Acoustics Denon Marantz Focal Naim Audio RSL Speakers