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Beyond the Transaction: Every Transaction Has a Story

Paying it Forward Cashless Style at Café Compartilhado

Neves is a small business owner from São Paulo, Brazil. Here, Neves shares the story of how his coffee stand has seen an increase in sales thanks to the acceptance of e-payments.

My name is Carlos Pedroso das Neves, but I go by Neves. I’m the owner of Café Compartilhado, a coffee stand on Consolação street in São Paulo, Brazil. After 29 stressful years working in the IT industry, I decided to start my own business.

At the time, my wife suggested we open a snack stand on the street, so we started selling coffee, pastries and snacks. One day, a tourist stopped by and asked to buy two coffees, one for himself and the other for one of the many low income people in the area that could not afford it. This inspired my “shared coffee” idea, a concept where customers could buy coffee for themselves and leave a “coffee credit” for someone else that may not be able to afford one.Cafe

My “shared coffee” business model includes not only coffee, but also cakes, pies, snacks and all other goods I sell. When someone stops by and makes a donation, I write it down on a blackboard to let other people know that there is a credit available for a free drink or snack.

Whenever I find I’m low on credits, I make a contribution “on the house” and make a donation out of my own pocket to keep the project running. Many people are going through hard times here and it’s important that I help them out.

When I first started business, quite a few people complained that I did not accept cards. I’ve lost a lot of sales because people didn’t carry enough cash. At that point, I realized that getting a payment terminal was crucial not only to increase my sales, but also, to be able to get more donations for others, so I decided to move forward with it.

With this new method of payment in place, profits went up by 40% and today more than half of my sales are paid using a card, even donations. I feel very good about doing good for others and by showing the way for other people to do the same. Running a successful business that can also help other people is indeed priceless.