Starbucks is preparing to give its customers a way to digitally tip baristas. The Seattle-based company will add the option to a mobile payment app next summer, and also implement similar functionality to Square, which Starbucks plans to start using in November. All to further encourage the “Smartphone as Wallet” idea.
Participating is simple: Download the app, link a credit/debit card, and scan your phone at checkout. Anyone with a smartphone can do it. Starbucks’s app, of course, is only compatible at the coffee shop — users are being incentivised to use it with rewards. Square, obviously, is more widely accepted among smaller businesses; Starbucks is currently the highest profile company to sign up for the program.
Previously, Starbucks announced that its existing app is integrated with Apple’s Passbook, which is more or less the Cupertino company’s take on the mobile wallet. I actually used Passbook at a movie theatre over the weekend, and it worked perfectly.