Starbucks is expanding its mobile platform today with two big announcements. The first brings the company’s Android app to Canada and the U.K., and the second involves an update for U.S. users. Starting today, U.S. users of the Starbucks for Android application have access to a number of new features, the most notable being support for PayPal and the introduction of a Starbucks widget for your Android’s homescreen.
In the U.K. and Canada, users will be able to take advantage of the typical app functions, like the store locator, for example, and they’ll also be able to load up their card and check their balance. And, of course, they can use the mobile app at checkout to make payments. The addition of these countries brings Starbucks’ mobile payments to 14,000 store locations worldwide.
With the new international version as well as the U.S. update, users can now PIN-protect their account. They can also pay and reload their Starbucks Card via PayPal, in addition to being able to reload using any major credit card. The app introduces an improved version of My Starbucks Rewards, too, letting you keep an eye on how close you are to your next free drink. And for regular users, there’s a new homescreen widget that lets you watch your balance, keep track of your star count, access the store locator, and conveniently touch to pay.
While mobile app updates or expansions aren’t always big news, Starbucks is an example of a company that has not waited for the confusion around mobile payments to sort itself out, and has gone ahead in delivering a system of its own. The company has an end-to-end solution with mobile apps, barcode scanners, POS integration, and a loyalty program, which it manages in-house. The system works well enough that even though it’s but one company, it’s managing to whet consumers’ appetites for mobile payments in general.