There seems to be a new sheriff in town at Starbucks. Over the past few weeks, Big Green has announced a revised logo, an additional drink size and now they’ve announced the nation-wide roll-out of Starbucks Card Mobile—an app for Blackberry and iPhone or iPod touch that allows you to pay for your caffeine fix with your phone.
Starbucks Card Mobile allows you to do almost everything you can do with the traditional Starbucks Card; you can check your balance, reload your card with any major credit, view your transactions as well as track your Stars in the My Starbucks Rewards program—you can even find nearby Starbucks stores with it. The program has been rolled out to 6,800 of its stores and over 1,000 outlets inside Target stores after having been tested in a few locations since September 2009.
Using Starbucks Card Mobile is dead easy; simply load the app on your iPhone, iPod touch (and presumably iPad in 1x mode) or BlackBerry, order a tasty beverage, the app will display a barcode that’s scanned at the register and the appropriate funds are deducted from your Starbucks Card account.
Ever wonder how much money is changing hands with those Starbucks Cards people use and give as gifts? Starbucks reports that they loaded $1.5 billion onto cards last year alone. That’s a lot of beans. The roll-out of Starbucks Card Mobile will be the largest mobile payment program in the United States.
As a Starbucks addict myself, I’m looking forward to the app and the program coming to Canada so that I can give my tired old card a rest.