Starbucks ushers in mobile payments

Starbucks ushers in mobile payments

Starbucks has expanded its mobile payment service to all of its company-operated stores in the U.S., allowing customers to pay for in-store purchases with BlackBerry smartphones, the iPhone and the iPod touch. The deployment encompasses nearly 6,800 stores and more than 1,000 Target locations—the largest mobile payment program in the country to date.

The service is based on Starbucks’ existing mobile app, which was developed by mobile banking and payment solutions provider mFoundry. The app also lets customers manage their Starbucks card balance, load their account with a credit card or PayPal account, locate nearby stores and check for rewards.

Starbucks customers pay with their app-equipped smartphone by holding the device in front of a scanner on the counter of the retail location and scanning the app’s on-screen barcode to make a purchase.

The move, by a retailer as prominent as Starbucks, is likely to be somewhat of a tipping point for more widespread adoption of mobile payment and consumer acceptance of using a mobile device to pay for goods and services.

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