Starbucks Serves Up Mobile Payments to Millions of Android Users

This may not be exactly what you thought the future of mobile payments would look like, where consumers would tap their phone to pay for a cup of coffee, but Starbucks has identified an intermediary step.

Following the early success of its iPhone application, Starbucks has released an application for Android that will enable users to pay for their extra hot Vente Caramel Macchiato or Iced Mocha Frappuccino with their phones.

The mobile application lets consumers reload their Starbucks payment card, view transactions, track awards, and, ultimately, pay by scanning the barcode on the phone’s screen.

The Starbucks Android app is available in the Android Market and will work on phones running operating systems 2.1 or higher.

Starbucks will soon accept mobile payments at 9,000 locations with the announcement today that it will be rolling out soon to 1,000 cafes in Safeway grocery stores across the U.S.

Starbucks first launched the iPhone app in January and reported that within three months, more than three million people had paid using Starbucks Card Mobile.

At an event last month, K.C. MacLaren, Starbucks’ director of mobile and emerging platforms, said the application isn’t about adding incremental revenue, but about driving loyalty. Other evolutions in the pipeline include the ability to order a coffee for pick-up later in the store.

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