When I asked to pay by phone for my tall coffee the staff at my local Starbucks were giddy with excitement. This was their first time doing this…all three of them huddled around me. Wow.... they wanted to see the cash register, my phone, print and check the receipt. The whole transaction from every angle. These Starbucks people were into it and obviously had been well briefed.
The way it works is that you sync Starbucks card/account info onto the updated Starbucks app. When you go to pay you present the card view of the Starbucks app, they scan it and instantly you see the updated balance on your phone. It is pretty cool.
That all being said. How much more convenient is this really? If I am on my phone emailing or surfing the web while I am waiting in line to order or pay – am I going to want to switch over to my Starbucks app, pay and then switch back to finishing what I was doing… it might be easier to pay by my Starbucks card or old school cash.
One benefit, besides not needing your wallet or card, is tracking your Starbucks rewards. I personally believe that Starbucks has missed about 100 of my visits as I only have 11 stars… I should be double gold level!!!
Starbucks is another example of a company moving mobile commerce forward. When I talk to clients and potential clients who think that mobile commerce is a ways a way… I remind them it depends on what type of mobile commerce - lots of people pay for parking by phone and now this… all baby steps towards Google wallet, Paypal, Smart type card readers that insert in iphones and NFC based mobile commerce which all are gaining steam fast. It might not be right for all brands and businesses but mobile commerce will be for many.