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Starbucks targets BlackBerry user loyalty with mobile payment app

September 7, 2010

Starbucks' new Blackberry application enables mobile payment.

Starbucks' new Blackberry application enables mobile payment.

Starbucks’ new BlackBerry application lets consumers purchase items using its mobile payment option in Target Starbucks locations and 16 trial stores in Seattle and Silicon Valley.

The Starbucks Card Mobile Application, created by mFoundry, features five options with which consumers can access their Starbucks Card and My Starbucks Rewards. The coffeehouse created the application at request of its customers.

“Since the launch of the Starbucks Mobile Card App for iPhone and iPod Touch, we’ve heard from many customers that they wanted us to extend the app to other platforms,” said Lily Gluzberg, spokeswoman at Starbucks, Seattle.

“It was a top request of customers on My Starbucks Idea,” she said. “The mobile application builds on the success of the Starbucks Card program.

Starbucks is an international coffeehouse chain.

MFoundry is a mobile financial services provider.

Card bucks
By using the Starbucks Card Mobile BlackBerry application, consumers can check their Starbucks Card balance, reload their Starbucks card using a credit card, and pay for in-store purchases with the mobile payment option in all Target Starbucks store and the 16 trial locations.

“It is expected that customers will load more than $1 billion dollars on Starbucks Cards this year,” said Ms. Gluzberg.

“Through the years, the Starbucks Card has grown from a popular stored-value card to a significant method of payment in stores,” she said. “Today, nearly one in five transactions in U.S. Starbucks stores are paid for with a Starbucks Card.”

Starbucks rolled out the United States’ largest mobile payment initiative in March (see story).

The store locator helps drive in-store traffic.

The store locator helps drive in-store traffic.

The company last year launched two 2D barcode scanning applications for the iPhone and iPod touch (see story).

The application also includes a store locator.

According to Red Gillen, senior analyst at Celent, Boston, location-based services that can be leveraged by the phone and offers that can be tailored to time of day and consumer location help drive in-store traffic to specific locations for specific products.

“A mobile card app is much better than a “dumb” plastic card, in that it can create greater consumer loyalty and engagement through reward point tracking, promotional offers/messaging, and convenience features, like reloads,” said Mr. Gillen.

Final Take
Kaitlyn Bonneville, editorial assistant at Mobile Commerce Daily, New York

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