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Handhelds Software The Almighty Buck Apple

Starbucks Gets Mobile Payment System 149

Ron writes "Starbucks has started accepting mobile payments. Customers can now use the Starbucks Card Mobile app on their iPhone, iPod touch, or BlackBerry at nearly 6,800 company-operated Starbucks stores in the US plus more than 1,000 outlets inside Target stores. To pay with their phone, app users simply select 'touch to pay' and hold up the barcode on the screen to the 2D scanner at the register. The app also lets users manage Starbucks accounts and find nearby stores. To start using your device as tender, you can download the app now for iOS and BlackBerry. An Android application is also said to be in the works, but the company has not yet given a release date, and there's no word yet on plans for a Windows Phone version."
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Starbucks Gets Mobile Payment System

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  • by rhsanborn ( 773855 ) on Thursday January 20, 2011 @09:09AM (#34938430)
    This sounds very similar to the boarding pass system being used at some airports. They send you a copy of a barcode which acts as your boarding pass. The only trouble I ever had was with a blackberry screen not being big enough for the scanner to pick it up. After I got a Droid, I preferred the digital pass to finding a printer every time I needed a boarding pass.

    Likewise, this may be a nice way to manage one's coffee addiction. The only problem is that seeing all your past purchases might not be good for Starbucks. People may finally realize how much money they're spending.
  • Re:Is it me (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jo_ham ( 604554 ) <joham999@gmai[ ]om ['l.c' in gap]> on Thursday January 20, 2011 @09:41AM (#34938656)

    So, what? The thief buys 200 coffees on your account and sells them for cash to punters outside?

    I think it would just be easier to sell the phone itself if you're going to go to the trouble of stealing it.

  • Re:Is it me (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Dunbal ( 464142 ) * on Thursday January 20, 2011 @09:55AM (#34938776)

    That's not it. Right now it's Starbucks, but soon it will be McDonalds and Wal Mart and the gas station, etc. Watch, you'll see.

    Now you could argue that there's no difference between this and a credit/debit card. However there is one huge difference. With a credit card the merchant obtains the equipment from the bank, and you obtain your card from the bank. They work together, the card never leaves your presence, the card reader never leaves the merchant's point of sale, and it's hard (but not impossible) for someone to get in between both of them.

    With a cell phone the "equipment" is partly in the hands of the public and relies on software and encryption to prevent hacking and "man in the middle" exploits. Well the first rule of security is never give someone physical access to your system... If the bank is assuming that the cell phone/reader combo is "safe" and does little checking (which is probably the case: banks are masters of "security by obscurity"), soon you'll be able to bill more than a coffee to someone else's account.

          Where's the defectivebydesign tag when I need it?

  • by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Thursday January 20, 2011 @11:52AM (#34940214) Homepage

    Not only have you publicly paid 7 bucks for an over-sugared cup of burnt coffee, but you managed to do so in a way that let you flaunt your pimped iPhone!

    And, clearly in no way shape or form would someone with a Blackberry ever do this ... after all, it doesn't say right in TFS that this will also work on Blackberry's. And, they'd never be in the process of doing this for an Android phone either, as they would make no sense. What self respecting person with an Android would ever do this, what with all of the web servers they're running and neck-beards they're growing to show how anti-cool (and therefore cooler) they are?

    Clearly, the only people ever doing this will be using iPhones and dressed in the requisite black turtle-neck, and the rest of the world will have to stand in line like chumps and pay with old fashioned money.

    Oh, wait ... no ... Starbucks wants this available on every major smartphone so they can sell as much coffee as they can.

    Regardless of your phone platform of choice ... pretentious wankers of all stripes will soon be paying "7 bucks for an over-sugared cup of burnt coffee" via their phone.

    Vent your spleen at Starbucks and its patrons, not the iPhone. I bet as many Blackberry's and Androids go in as iPhones.

In English, every word can be verbed. Would that it were so in our programming languages.