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Starbucks expands mobile payment service to all US stores

By Ed Oswald, Betanews

Starbucks expanded its mobile payments program to more than 7,500 of its US stores on Wednesday, following a successful pilot program in 1,000 company-owed stores plus all of its Target in-store locations. The offering allows customers to use their smart phones to show a barcode that is linked to their Starbucks Card accounts without carrying the actual card.

The coffee retailer initially began offering the app last year as a method to check card balances, reload the card, and check previous transactions. A pilot program for the mobile payments system was later launched in all Target stores as well as select locations in New York, Seattle, and across northern California.

Starbucks’ app would also allow for reloading of the card and viewing past purchase history. Once the card is used, the balance is automatically updated on the card’s home screen. Company-owned stories will be the first to support the mobile app, which is currently only available for iOS and Blackberry. Blackberry 8800 series, Bold, Curve, Storm, Storm2, and Tour devices are supported.

An Android version of the app is still in development, the company said. The functionality should be available immediately to customers.

“Today, one in five Starbucks transactions is made using a Starbucks Card and mobile payment will extend the way our customers experience and use their Starbucks Card,” Starbucks Card and brand loyalty chief Brady Brewer said in a statement.

Users can download the app for free from either the App Store or Starbuck’s website. While a card can not be purchased through it directly, customers can pick up a physical card from any of Starbucks’ locations.

Copyright Betanews, Inc. 2010

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