January 27, 2011, 11:45 AM

Cream, sugar and mobile payments, please

Starbucks has launched Starbucks Card Mobile, an app for iPhone and BlackBerry smartphones.

Katie Evans

Managing Editor, International Research

Lead Photo

Starbucks has launched Starbucks Card Mobile, an app for iPhone and BlackBerry smartphones that enables a shopper to enter her Starbucks card number and scan a bar code to buy her lattés and scones.

Customers can pay with their smartphones by holding a mobile device in front of a scanner on the countertop and scanning the Starbucks Card Mobile App’s on-screen bar code to make a purchase.

Starbucks card users can register a card with the app to pay for purchases, check balances and rewards points, reload their card with any major credit card and find a nearby Starbucks store with the store locator feature. IPhone users can also reload their cards via PayPal.

 

The app can be used for payment at nearly 6,800 company-operated Starbucks stores in the U.S., including all Starbucks in Target stores. Starbucks tested the program in Seattle, Northern California, New York and at more than 1,000 Starbucks in U.S. Target stores.

Starbucks says the mobile app will make purchases fast and easy for its base of several million cardholders and also will appeal to new customers.

“Today, one in five Starbucks transactions is made using a Starbucks Card, and mobile payment will extend the way our customers experience and use their Starbucks Card,” says Brady Brewer, vice president Starbucks Card and Brand Loyalty. “With mobile payment, the Starbucks Card platform further elevates the customer experience by delivering convenience, rewarding loyalty and continuing to build an emotional connection with our customers.”

Starbucks says more than one-third of U.S. Starbucks customers use smartphones, of whom nearly three-quarters use a BlackBerry smartphone or an iPhone. Customers loaded more than $1.5 billion on Starbucks Cards in 2010, an increase of 21% over 2009

“Mobile payment is just one example of how we’re continually innovating on behalf of our customers to enhance the Starbucks experience,” Brewer says. “A growing segment of our customers use smartphones, and through the Starbucks Card Mobile App, we’re providing them with the fastest way to pay.”

 

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