Starbucks Rolls Out Phone Payments

Aron Schatz
January 20, 2011

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Starbucks is trying to reduce the burden of credit card payments (CC companies take a big chunk of small sales) by encouraging the use of gift cards and this new payment system. If it works, this might be a big deal for payments of the future. I just can't see using a device that may lose internet access when you're trying to pay and you're out of luck.


Here's how it works. Simply take any Starbucks gift card you've ever received - or get a new one at any Starbucks store - and then register that card online. That card then becomes your primary source of payment for all your Starbucks transactions. Online, you can use a credit card to refill your Starbucks card. You can even have it set to auto-refill after it dips below a certain amount. Then, download the Starbucks iPhone app. When you go to your neighborhood Starbucks, simply load the app, click "touch to pay," and then scan the phone at a custom scanner at the register. The purchase will be deducted from your Starbucks gift card.



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