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Starbucks puts mobile payments to general use on its American network

  • Starbucks launched a mobile payment application, Starbucks Card Mobile, available on iPhone, iPod and BlackBerry. This application can be seen as a new way to use the reloadable prepaid account already proposed in prepaid card format. Its users will be able to perform contactless payments with their smartphone in Starbucks cafés.
  • The customer opens a reloadable prepaid account with Starbucks, and credits it with his bank card or a PayPal account. In addition to the prepaid card attached to this account, customers can download a mobile application enabling payment by scanning a 2D bar-code. One Starbucks customer out of five already uses the prepaid card in the United States. In 2010, more than 1.5 billion dollars was credited on these cards.
  • Mobile payment will be possible at 6,800 points of sale In the United States.
  • Starbucks is now generalising a process which was tested during several months in several outlets throughout the United States. Banking and/or retail players still hesitate to invest in mobile payment, notably in France; Starbucks considered this solution was interesting enough to invest in this channel and launch a proprietary application to develop a fully private payment scheme which escapes banking schemes as well as the largest networks.
  • The American brand also benefits from a new flexible customer loyalty medium, likely to evolve, enabling them to include traditional point systems and more dynamic functionalities such as geolocation or m-couponing.