Starbucks intros its mobile tip jar in an iOS update


If you’re one of the increasing number of people using the Starbucks mobile payments app, you’ve probably been flummoxed by this situation: while you can pay for coffee and scone with just a wave of your phone, you still have to dig hard currency out of your pocket if you want to leave a tip. On Thursday, Starbucks rectified this with an update to its iPhone app.

The latest release lets you tip your server and barista between 50 cents and $2 directly within the app, which contains a digital version of your Starbucks card. After you make a Starbucks card transaction, the app will send you a push notification, which will load a receipt of your purchase. Embedded in that receipt will be an option to select a tip, which will be added to the transaction amount. There’s a two-hour window to choose whether or not to tip. After that, the option disappears.

Starbucks digital tipping

Starbucks introduced a number of other features in the update, including a new streamlined dashboard and options to see your entire account history. Apart from the tipping feature, though, the most significant addition is a new shake-to-pay feature. Before you get your hopes up, you can’t shake your phone from the iPhone’s home screen to pay for your coffee. But once inside the app, a little jiggle is all it takes to load your payment barcode onscreen.

The updated app is available only on iOS 6.0 or later devices for now. Digital tipping can only be used in U.S. Starbucks locations and for now only at 7,000 company-owned stores. An updated Android app containing all of the new features is expected later this year.

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