Starbucks Corp. now includes PayPal Inc.'s payment system as a funding method for its mobile payment application.
The update, which went live on Apple Inc.'s App Store Nov. 18, adds PayPal as a funding method alongside conventional payment cards. The coffee shop chain's customers can use the app to add funds to the Starbucks stored-value card that is connected to the app, which can then display a bar code to scan at the point of sale at some Starbucks locations, eliminating the need for a separate plastic card.
Starbucks, of Seattle, has said one of the clearest benefits of its mobile payment app is the ability to add funds while customers are waiting in line to place their order. Without this capability, many customers instead load funds at the point of sale — making an additional transaction that takes up time. As more customers load their cards before they reach the register, the line in its stores can move faster.
Starbucks' payment system can be used at some stores on the West Coast and in New York and on Long Island as well as at all Starbucks stores within Target Corp. retail locations, which have special bar-code scanners that work with the app. The app's iPhone version launched in September 2009. Starbucks added a version for Research in Motion Ltd.'s BlackBerry in September 2010.
PayPal, a unit of eBay Inc., has been pushing to become a funding method for mobile payment products.
Notably, PayPal is also a funding method for Bling Nation Ltd.'s contactless payment stickers, which are meant to be adhered to mobile phones.