Starbucks for Android App Lets Users Pay by Phone

Starbucks for Android is an application that will allow owners of Google Android 2.1 and newer handsets to pay for coffee and other goods from their mobile phone.

Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) June 15 introduced an Android application that lets users pay for coffee and other treats from the java chain via their Android smartphones.

Starbucks for Android lets consumers pay for brew and food from their phones at nearly 6,800 Starbucks stores, more than 1,000 Target stores, and close to 1,000 Starbucks stores in Safeway in the U.S.

The app is available free now in the Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android Market for handsets running Android 2.1 and later versions.

Users will download the app, enter their Starbucks card number and check out by letting Starbucks attendants user a 2-D scanner to read the app's card number on their phone. Users can also use the app to manage and reload their card account, check their Starbucks rewards status and find Starbucks stores nearby.

"With the addition of Starbucks for Android to the Starbucks app line-up, a Starbucks mobile payment app may now be used on approximately 90 percent of smartphones currently in use," said Adam Brotman, vice president and general manager of digital ventures at Starbucks Coffee Company.

Starbucks for Android follows the popular Starbucks for Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone and RIM (TSE:RIM) Blackberry apps the coffee maker launched last January.

iPhone and iPod touch users, as well as owners of RIM's BlackBerry Tour, Curve or Storm smartphones already pay for their coffee, pastries and other goodies at Starbuck's standalone and Target Starbuck's locations.

While Starbuck's has enjoyed success with its iPhone mobile payment app, mobile payments remain a niche use case for most consumers accustomed to paying for goods by cash, debit, credit or gift cards. Starbuck's and several high-tech companies hope to change that.

The Starbuck's for Android app comes as Google is preparing to launch its Google Wallet mobile payment app in New York and San Francisco.

Wallet will let consumers pay for goods by tapping their phones against payment terminals leveraging the near field communications short-range wireless technology.

Wallet will support Citi MasterCard and a Google Prepaid Card, allowing users to pay wherever MasterCard's PayPass mobile-payment service is accepted.