Starbucks App for iPhone Becoming Digital Wallet for Other Stores?

In an effort to carry around an increasingly thinner wallet, we’ve come across a variety of mobile payment and “digital wallet” apps for smartphones. Many of these get you to take a picture or scan the barcode on your existing loyalty cards, offering a digital version for the vendor to scan. The Starbucks app has been particularly popular, but it doesn’t have any value at all outside of the Starbucks universe. That may soon be changing.

Starbucks Chief Digital Officer Adam Brotman says the company plans on extending the Starbucks iPhone app, giving you the ability to use the app to pay for things at other stores. This could still tie in the Starbucks loyalty program and, theoretically, you could buy a pair of shoes or double bacon cheeseburger with your Starbucks balance. They’re still working out the details and they have yet to announce who their brick-and-mortar retail partners will be, but this is sounding like the Starbucks app is turning into a digital wallet.

For now, you pay for drinks with your Starbucks app by scanning the barcode displayed on your iPhone’s screen, but if they are really pursuing this digital wallet idea and the iPhone 6 gets NFC, they may take on the “tap to pay” route in the near future too.

The iconic coffee company has already been actively adding and testing new features in its iPhone app. You can already track your My Starbucks Reward stars within the app and they’ve starting putting charging stations in select locations. You may have seen the ability to add a tip via the iPhone app too. More recently, they’ve announced that they’re testing an in-line mobile ordering feature in the Starbucks app. This way, by the time you get to the front of the line, your smiling barista may already have your drink ready for you.


Via Re/code

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