One of the most significant recent innovations in mobile payments was announced in September when mFoundry teamed up with Starbucks to introduce an iPhone app called Starbucks Card Mobile. The Starbucks program, which is being field tested at 16 Starbucks locations in Seattle and Northern California, utilizes a 2D bar code system from mFoundry which enables latte drinkers and other customers of the Seattle-based chain to pay for their orders using mobile phones at the point of sale.
Starbucks customers are testing the application using Apple Inc.'s iPhones and iPod Touch devices to pay for items using a checkerboard square image on their screens. The images perform like standard bar codes and work with all Starbucks prepaid cards. Starbucks customers can reload cards and check balances while standing in line.