Paying for a cup of coffee with new Starbucks iPhone app

by Rob Lewis

This morning Starbucks launched a store-finding and menu-information iPhone app as well as one that will let customers use the iPhone as their Starbucks card. The second app is currently being tested in Seattle and Silicon Valley. The apps resulted from customer feedback it received via social-networking sites and their My Starbucks Idea online community it launched last year.

The first app, myStarbucks, lets customers locate stores and bookmark favorite locations. They can search by additional information, such as hours and amenities, to find, for example, a nearby one that’s open and has a drive-thru window. It also includes a menu and nutritional information for Starbucks’s drinks, food and coffee beans, and a “drink builder” that displays nutritional information based on the selections.

The Starbucks Card app that is in testing displays a scannable bar code on the cellphone screen, allowing it to be used to pay for purchases like a Starbucks card. It can currently be used in 16 Starbucks locations in Seattle and San Francisco - cities that were apparently chosen due to the high usage rates of both Starbucks cards and Apple products in those regions.

Starbucks will gauge customer feedback during the trial and then decide whether to extend the card functionality to other markets. TechFlash's John Cook is in Seattle and headed to the Columbia Center Starbucks to give the mobile payment system a try and his feedback was very positive.


Seattle, Washington, United States

It happens millions of times each week – a customer receives a drink from a Starbucks barista – but each interaction is unique. It’s just a moment in time – just one hand reaching over the counter to present a cup to another outstretched hand. But it’s a connection. We make sure everything we do honors that connection – from our commitment to the highest quality coffee in the world, to the way... more

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Rob Lewis

Rob Lewis

Rob is the President of Techvibes Media and Editor-in-Chief of  His diverse background includes stints in International Trade Finance, Web Development, and Enterprise Software and he is a graduate of the University of British Columbia, British Columbia Institute of Technology, and Simon Fraser University. When not running Canada's leading technology media property, Rob can be... more

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