business news in context, analysis with attitude reports that Starbucks has said that “more than 42 million mobile payments since the U.S. launch of its mobile pay program less than 15 months ago.” Last December, about a year after the program was launched, Starbucks said that 26 million payments had been processed; the new update suggests that acceptance and usage of the mobile program is growing exponentially.

As the story describes it, “customers use the mobile app to load money on to a digital Starbucks Card and then present a 2D barcode to pay-by-scan at the register. Mobile pay first launched in the U.S., but has since migrated to Canada and the U.K., and was recently made available to customers ordering from drive-thru windows.”
KC's View:
This is a great little piece of technology, and I use mine frequently. However, I would argue that Starbucks misses - or deliberately avoids - one of the real ways it could be used to reward customers.

If one has a Starbucks card, one gets a free coffee for every 15 purchased. But the company offers that reward via a post card with a coupon that shows up in the mail.

It would make a lot more sense if, when using the mobile app, the 16th coffee was automatically free. Such a system would provide a lot more value to the consumer.

I suspect the use of the post card is designed to provide value to the company. I have a bunch of them sitting on my desk, and I often forget to bring them ... which means that Starbucks offered me a deal but did not actually have to deliver. Good for them, not so good for me.

I think these kinds of schemes are obvious, and that in the long run they hurt companies that are more concerned about themselves than the shopper that makes them possible.