Addicted to Starbucks and your iPhone? Then these two applications are mandatory installations.
Starbucks Mobile Card Application
- Check your Starbucks card balance
- Reload your card
- View your transaction history
- Pay with your card by using your iPhone
Personally, this is a great application for me. In our family we share one account but I rarely actually have the card with me; that honor goes to the wife who is not only a SBUX lover but also a former employee.
This application eliminates the need for me to carry the card…and as a matter of fact, any cash. I can easily check the card balance; if it needs a reload I can reload using a saved Visa, MasterCard or American Express. And since it saves the credit card information I really can just walk in with my iPhone!
Paying for Food and Drinks
Currently there are only 16 Starbucks (8 in Seattle and 8 in Silicon Valley) where you can actually pay with your iPhone but this will soon change. To pay with your iPhone you’ll open the application and show them a 3D barcode which they’ll scan and deduct the amount from your balance.
Security might be a concern because of the exposure to a saved credit card and the ability to reload at a moment’s notice but you can add a PIN code and lock the application, preventing any type of malicious intent (or perhaps a thirsty teenager).
Expect to see more of these types of cashless applications. I can’t wait to try it out at my local SBUX when the beta testing is over!
MyStarbucks iPhone Application
A companion to the Starbucks Mobile Card, this application comes with the following features:
- Store Locator
- Drink Builder
- Food Menu
- Coffee Menu
- Save and Share
- Nearby Locations
- Store Hours
- Amenities (wireless hotspot, oven-warmed food)
- Invite a Friend
- Directions (opens your iPhone Maps)
I tried it and what I liked was the ability to see whether the Starbucks was closed simply by clicking on the location…very handy for you late-night drinkers. Also, the Invite-a-Friend feature will open your address book and let you select a person. From there it will offer you the ability to text message them and will automatically open your SMS application and it will have copied the address so all you have to do is paste it into your message and your friend will have the exact location to meet up.
I have maybe 3 different drinks at a Starbucks so I didn’t find this feature that interesting or useful at this time. With the Drink Builder you can build and save your perfect drink. Every option is shown so you can customize it exactly the way you want it (I never knew all the different add-ins you could order!).
Once you’ve built your drink you can see all the nutritional ingredients…you might want to close your eyes on this screen.
And finally, you can save the drink into your favorites. Why would you want to do this? As of now, for no apparent reason but I can see where they’re going with this.
Think about this scenario: you walk into a Starbucks…get out your iPhone with all your saved drinks (and your friends whom you’re about to meet). Walk up to a store 3D scanner and scan in your order and pay for it with your Mobile Card application and go sit down. They call your name and you never had to wait in a line! Convenience at its finest!
With a growing menu, the Food Menu displays a picture of the item and its calories and nutritional ingredients.
If you want to learn about all the various coffee beans and how they’re similar or a description of how they taste, you’ll find it here, including images of workers actually picking the beans and how they look in their raw form.
iPhone App Done Right
I would imagine Starbucks will merge the two applications in the future but for now you’ll have to live with them separated.
You can help improve and suggest features by participating online at www.mystarbucksidea.com.