Pay For Your Starbucks Addiction With Your iPhone

If you’re addicted to Starbucks and have an iPhone, you can now pay for your caffeine-related purchases through the company’s iPhone app. Called Starbucks Card Mobile, the app has actually been in limited availability since last Fall at 16 standalone stores, and now lets you pay for cafe purchases at over 1,000 Starbucks-within-Target locations in the U.S.

There’s a lack of clarity over technical details and conflicting information besides, but what I can piece together is that the system uses either or both traditional linear barcodes and/or 2D images known as QR (Quick Response) codes. Starbucks’ own details show both being types of codes being used. (QR codes are being used on some websites to digitally provide contact info, geo-location and other data to phones, for mobile applications.) The Starbucks Card Mobile app ties to your Starbucks Card, making your phone the Card. When you make a purchase, “[your] iPhone/ iPod Touch displays a barcode that you use just like your Starbucks Card…” The cashier then scans your iPhone screen instead of the associated Card, to debit the purchase from your balance.