Pay for Starbucks with your iPhone

Imagine going into a store without any cash, just your iPhone and your keys. Our future is starting to look like this. Starbucks recently came out with an idea to collaborate with Target stores, so customers can pay for Starbucks with their iPhone at 1,000 Target stores across the United States. With the Starbucks Card Mobile iPhone application, you simply scan your bar-code and  pay later. Starbucks has updated the iPhone application with support for Starbucks Cards. Users can now register their cards, check their balances and reload empty cards using a credit card.

The first thing that came to my mind after reading this was, that would be really cool if while they are at Starbucks, in Target, they could go shopping with their iPhone.  I am sitting here wondering, is this our future? Am I going to be able to go food shopping and clothes shopping with my iPhone?  That would stink if you lost your phone though, you would be out of luck with a phone and an expensive credit card bill.

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8 Responses to Pay for Starbucks with your iPhone

  1. cwilusz says:

    I am not sure what I think about this idea by Starbucks. I think this could lead to a lot of debt problems for people because they will be like “if i don’t have the money then why don’t i just put it on my phone.” I guess my question is what happens if they do not pay their bill? Does it affect their phone bill. I just think its crazy how technology is taking over our lives!

  2. tmoore says:

    I definitely do not think that this kind of technologically advanced future is far from the realm of possibility. I think this type of I-phone application is both convenient and enticing and is likely to be a great success and rampant with other uses of credit cards/payment options for many other stores and services.

    These days, we are all about making everything faster and easier. If it were possible to simply carry only your keys and your I-phone on you, without the bulk and hassle, so to speak, of a wallet, credit cards, cash, etc., why would one not opt for that convenience?

    And I do not think that fear of losing your phone would prevent the success of this particular application because there would certainly be a way to contact your provider ASAP to cancel all of your accounts and to protect your privacy and information. Take a credit card for example, that altered our means of cash with one simple, reusable plastic card!

  3. dolson says:

    This isn’t so much the future as the recent past. This kind of technology is in widespread use in Japan, and for a lot more than buying coffee. You can use your phone to buy train tickets or soda from a vending machine, or use it as a hotel room key. And if you can use your phone to pay your restaurant bill, does that make it easier to give your number to the server you’re hitting on? The phone as a debit card is a convenient idea, although you will be in a lot of hurt if you lose it or drop your phone in the toilet.

    The risk is theft would increase as well, although tech companies are experimenting with phone security: instead of having a password, the phone would scan your fingerprint or retina to let you use it. So it would really become a personal device then.

  4. dsmith says:

    My mind isn’t made up yet about this idea. On one hand it is pretty cool and convenient to be able to pay on your phone, but is it saving us any time? By the time you take out your phone and scan the barcode, you could be doing the same thing on your phone. In addition, this could bring about an entirely new and bigger chance for fraud. My friends lose their phones all the time, so if someone picked up your iphone they would be able to drink a lot of coffee. Plus, as a society we are able to check our bank statements online all the time, but would we be able to check the Starbucks Web site for account activity?

    Although there is a convenience to having your entire debit card on your phone, it would be twice as worse to lose your phone.

  5. aguido says:

    As long as the app to do this is fast an accessible, I can see how this would be a very convenient invention. I agree with dsmith though if it takes awhile to load the card onto your phone, you could have pulled the gift card out of your wallet by that time. Though, one is probably a lot more likely to lose a gift card than his or her cell phone because we keep our phones in constant check (most of us do). I would definitely recognize my phone is missing long before a gift card. That also somewhat addresses the issue of security. Since putting such a thing on your phone would give a thief access to that money if he or she stole your phone, a lot more security measures would have to be placed. I don’t want to have to enter a password or perform some other verification method just to operate my phone. They are supposed to be quick and convenient. I wouldn’t want to be at the counter stuck behind some guy who can’t recall his four-digit password for some reason, so I wonder what other convenient methods could be utilized for security in all of this? It would be nice if a single touch of one’s finger could be enough to identify, but how far away are we from having such technology in our pockets?

  6. ebratkovich says:

    Great post! I recently wrote about how Target is introducing mobile coupons for consumers. I think this is a great idea because many people these days don’t like to take the time to clip coupons, organize them and then remember to bring them on every shopping trip. I get so annoyed when I’m at Target or the grocery store and realize I left a great coupon at home. I end up just buying the product without the coupon because I’m upset and don’t have the time to make another trip. The new technology that allows the barcode to be scanned right on people’s cell phone sounds amazing. I think this will really boost companies like Target and Starbuck’s sales. I also think that companies can really take advantage of this opportunity by offering incentives to shoppers who use their phone to purchase products. It will be interesting to see how many stores start to introduce this concept!

  7. alevy says:

    I think this is a very innovative idea, but could have the potential to backfire tremendously. It is amazing how our technology has progressed so far and I definitely foresee this as an app for people to utilize in the near future, but while it is fast and accessible what about debt? I do agree with cwilusz that there would need to be a feasible way to deter away from debt problems. Obviously, this is something I am sure the creators would implement, but I know that it is very easy to get caught up with charging something because you don’t have the money at the time which could lead to worse problems. Also,I agree security would be an important issue because if one wants to put a large amount on their mobile app because they are frequent customers of Starbucks, there would need to be way for only the owner of the iPhone to be able to access it with something more secure then a login or pass-code.

    On the other hand, I do think that this is a good concept to boost sales of the product (as well as the iPhone ) because people can alleviate the worry of always remembering their gift card and/or wallet. So now they just need the app for the Blackberry and a way to actually order your drink on the phone!

  8. adouglas says:

    I think this could potentially become a popular form of shopping in the future. At my internship over the summer we had to do a client proposal for a client with a similar idea. The idea involved using texting to purchase items and using texting to send gifts via messages that gave numerical id codes the receiver could use at various locations. Pretty cool!

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