Starbucks today announced the expansion of its Starbucks Card Mobile payment test to nearly 300 company-operated stores in New York City and Nassau and Suffolk counties on Long Island. This builds on the pilot the coffee giant started in the fall of 2009, through which it provided a mobile payment app for BlackBerry smartphones and the Apple iPhone and iPod touch. The app produces a barcode on the customer's screen that they hold in front of a 2-D scanner on the counter to pay for their purchase.
"Mobile technology is part of our customers' daily routine and with the expansion of mobile payment in our test cities, we're seeing more and more customers using their smartphones as their mobile wallets," said Brady Brewer, vice president Starbucks Card and Loyalty, in a statement. "We've heard from our customers on My Starbucks Idea that they want a faster, more convenient way to pay."
The Starbucks card mobile app was first developed for BlackBerry smartphones and the iPhone as these devices are used by more than 71 percent of Starbucks smartphone-carrying customers. To experience mobile payment at participating New York City-area Starbucks, customers download the free app on their phone. In addition to the mobile payment feature, the app lets customers manage their card account, reload their card balance directly from their smartphone with a major credit card, check their My Starbucks Rewards status, or find nearby Starbucks stores.
The expansion of mobile payment into New York City builds on the test program currently in 16 stores in Seattle and Northern California and at more than 1,000 Starbucks in U.S. Target stores. The overall Starbucks card program is experiencing impressive growth and performance, and currently almost one in five of all in-store transactions are paid for with a Starbucks card. Customers are on track to load more than $1 billion on Starbucks cards this year, and at the end of the third quarter, sales of cards were up 17 percent over last year and the reload on existing cards was up more than 59 percent compared to last year.
"With the expansion of mobile payment to New York City, we expect to see more and more customers trading their plastic Starbucks cards for the digital version on their mobile phone," Brewer said.