Caffeine has been an essential gateway drug for Silicon Valley, so the news that geeks can get their coffee via smartphones is welcome indeed.
Starbucks is rolling out mobile payment across the country today, allowing purchases to be made from BlackBerry smartphones, iPhone or iPod touch mobile devices.
"Today, one in five Starbucks transactions is made using a Starbucks Card and mobile payment will extend the way our customers experience and use their Starbucks Card," said Brady Brewer, vice president Starbucks Card and Brand Loyalty.
"With mobile payment, the Starbucks
Card platform further elevates the customer experience by delivering
convenience, rewarding loyalty and continuing to build an emotional connection
with our customers."
The service requires the Starbucks Card Mobile App and has proved popular in test runs, some of which were here in California. Users simply fill up the application via credit card and scan their phone at checkout.
There'll be a lot of happy geeks using the service, and a lot more besides - Starbucks reckons that a third of its customers are able to use the system. But Sleuth can't help getting a feeling of déjà vu.
After all, this was something Nokia in Europe were doing a decade ago. Mobile payment systems are old news, but they've never really caught the public imagination. Maybe caffeine could be the stimulant for a new generation of mobile technology.
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