Updated: Starbucks Testing iPhone App That Can Pay For Coffee

myStarbucks iPhone App

Starbucks is testing an iPhone app in Seattle and the Bay Area that links to a customer’s registered account — and includes a bar code that can be used to pay for purchases instead of the plastic swipe cards. WSJ reports the chain will use feedback from the experiment to help plan the next steps. It makes perfect sense; whether it works or not, well …

The company’s first fully available iTunes app went live tonight: MyStarbucks, a detailed store finder with menu, nutritional info and a drink builder that does the fat and calories counting for you. Numerous non-company apps already offer Starbucks info, including iApp’s Find a Starbucks Coffee for $0.99. Both official apps are free with no ads.

Updated: The second app — Starbucks Mobile Card is live, too, although the “pay” feature can be used only at the test stores in Seattle and the Bay Area. (The list is in the app.) Log in and the card manager lets you see the balance on all multiple cards at once. (It doesn’t support Starbucks Duetto or Starbucks credit cards). It’s also possible to reload a card, refresh the balance, set up auto reload or check recent transactions (only $ amounts, not what was purchased). My morning visit was on there but the times don’t match exactly. While I was in Starbucks today, I tried out the MyStarbucks app. I built my own drink and checked the nutrition (fat content ok, sugars not so good), then let Starbucks use my location and set the store as a favorite. From the store screen, you can get directions, call, or invite a friend from your contact list by text, with the address of the store. You can store details of friends’ drinks (handy for office runs), and share the drink you build via Bluetooth or e-mail. May sound gimmicky but it’s actually utilitarian. There’s also a first-time bonus offer on the card reloads: use a Visa, add $25 and get an extra $5.

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