Starbucks Gets an App

You’d think with a brand as big as Starbucks that they’d have hopped on the iPhone app bandwagon long before this. But this week, the company launched its first two apps. One of them will help users locate the nearest Starbucks location. Well, that’s a no-brainer. The second, which is testing in Silicon Valley and Seattle, the two locations with the greatest confluence of Starbucks and iPhone users, will allow users to pay for coffee through their mobile device. Bascially, it’s a Starbucks card, except it’s on your phone — you’ll be able to buy products by swiping an on-screen barcode. While, as the Financial Times points out, the US is lagging behind other countries in the mobile payment space, Starbucks users are already incented to use this product – if they are holders of loyalty cards anyway, and use those cards to get wireless in Starbucks locations. Still, this is very much like a loyalty card – you’re just handing over your phone instead of your card. If you could order and pay ahead of time – now that would be something. In any case, expect more mobile payment options in times to come. http://blogs.ft.com/techblog/2009/09/starbucks-app-turns-iphone-into-a-wallet/

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