A friend of ours led us to a press release informing us about Starbuck’s attempt at using the QR Code and we, frankly, thought it was going to be some really dull, unimaginative test-drive of a mobile coupon or some printing of some QR Codes on some brochures….something along those lines. So, we went in and were surprised that they’re taking it quite a few steps ahead, compared to efforts shown by other companies. I mean, it’s Starbucks we’re talking about, so, my bad.
Instead, what we found was their attempt at QR Code payment via smart phones. At the point of writing this blog entry, we heard that they are testing out the QR Code payment system through 16 of their Starbucks stores in the Silicon Valley and also some others in Seattle.
If you don’t already know, Starbucks have their physical (conventional) Starbucks card which is a loyalty program card which entitles frequenters with membership benefits. Taking a step further, they recently launched applications for iPhone and iPod Touch where members can download their ‘membership card’ which comes in the form of a QR Code application and the code itself into their mobile phones.
The main purpose of the Starbucks QR Code card is to let mobile phone users reload the card, check for balance and pay for the drinks with a flash of the QR Code over the counter. In fact, you can load your QR Code card with a credit card (currently partnering up only with Visa, for this) and get a bonus of extra $5 added to the QR Code card.
Innovative. Starbucks made available their myStarbucks for smart phones too which is some sort of a file sharing and interactive personal shopper, browser, and coffee maker application. For more information, click here. As mentioned, they’ve specifically said in their website that the QR Code payment method is only available in selected stores in certain areas. They’re testing the reliability of the system that they’ve set up and we can’t wait to see how it turns out.
If this works out for them, imagine having this system for everyone else in the world today. With a flash of the QR Code on your cell phone, you have coffee. It would be so easy that it’s a revolution in the world of mobile payment.
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