You’ve seen me write about mobile payments making their way into American culture. Curious, I had to see how it worked.
Lucky for me and $tarbucks (rhymes with Daddy Warbucks), I have $20 biweekly habit that I can tightly monitor with Starbucks’ mobile application. It is available for blackberries, ipads, iphones and androids.
Yep. Starbucks has a mobile application for all of their coffee addicts. It’s been in place for about nine months or so, beating Google Wallet and everyone else to the mobile payment punch.
At first, I was all, “why in the world would I want to download an app for coffee?”
Well, I will tell you why:
  1. When I leave my office to grab my afternoon fix, I don’t have to carry my purse with my wallet that holds my credit card and Starbucks card.
  2. I can budget my coffee addiction allotment.
  3. The app collects and monitors my rewards—no more carrying around the infamously loseable Starbucks Card.
  4. In the event I am traveling, it loads up the closest Starbucks for my drinking pleasure.
  5. I get to look cool when I whip out my phone to pay.
So basically, after I downloaded the app to my iPhone, I went to my friendly, neighborhood barista, handed him my credit card and asked him to put $20 bucks on my card.
Alternatively, I could have also gone to and set up my card for auto-reload once it is depleted. Being the junkie that I am, I declined that opportunity—see, I can exhibit some self control!
They take Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express and PayPal.
Once loaded up, I then order my usual—a grande non-fat latte, one pink, one blue—and hold up my phone to the little thing-a-ma-bob. It reads a little UPC-like code on my phone and, voila, the amount is magically deducted from my mobile app. I can switch immediately to the rewards section and see that I got a gold star added to my rewards.
So, see, it’s not so scary. And it is manageable. And secure, since I set a PIN on the account.
Be not afraid. Mobile payments aren’t so scary after all. Just me without my coffee.