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Android phones get Starbucks payment app

Jun 16, 2011 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive
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Starbucks has introduced an application that lets users pay for coffee and other treats from the java chain via their Android smartphones. Available free, the software works at nearly 9,000 locations, according to the company.

Starbucks for Android lets consumers pay for brew and food from their phones at nearly 6,800 U.S. company-owned Starbucks stores, more than 1,000 Target stores, and close to 1,000 Starbucks stores in Safeway supermarkets, according to the company.


Using Java-plus-Linux to buy java: Starbucks for Android
(Click to enlarge)

Users will download the app, enter their Starbucks card number and check out by letting Starbucks attendants user a 2D scanner to read the app's card number on their phone. Users can also use the app to manage and reload their card account, check their Starbucks rewards status, and find Starbucks stores nearby.

PAdam Brotman, vice president and general manager of digital ventures at Starbucks Coffee Company, stated, "With the addition of Starbucks for Android to the Starbucks app line-up, a Starbucks mobile payment app may now be used on approximately 90 percent of smartphones currently in use."

Starbucks for Android follows the popular Starbucks for Apple's iPhone and RIM Blackberry apps the coffee maker launched last January. iPhone and iPod touch users — as well as owners of RIM's BlackBerry Tour, Curve or Storm smartphones — can already pay for their coffee, pastries and other goodies at Starbucks' standalone and Target locations.

Commenters on a Starbucks blog seem to have welcomed the Android app, but have criticized the lack of a widget and the lack of extension to markets outside the U.S. User "oscardlrosa" wrote, "I know this app is v1.0; but for 9MB and no widget nor PayPal support, seems a little off. Also, there's no double-tap on the map."

While Starbucks has enjoyed success with its iPhone mobile payment app, mobile payments remain a niche use case for most consumers accustomed to paying for goods by cash, debit, credit or gift cards. Starbucks and several high-tech companies hope to change that.

The Starbucks for Android app comes as Google is preparing to launch its Google Wallet mobile payment app in New York and San Francisco. Wallet will let consumers pay for goods by tapping their phones against payment terminals using NFC (near field communication) wireless technology. It will also support Citi MasterCard and a Google Prepaid Card, allowing users to pay wherever MasterCard's PayPass mobile-payment service is accepted.


A video demo of Starbucks for Android
Source: Starbucks
(click to play)

Further information

The Starbucks for Android app is available now in the Android Market for handsets running Android 2.1 or later.

Clint Boulton is a writer for eWEEK.


This article was originally published on LinuxDevices and has been donated to the open source community by QuinStreet Inc. Please visit LinuxToday.com for up-to-date news and articles about Linux and open source.

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