Faster Forward: Starbucks mobile payment debuts today

By Hayley Tsukayama
Wednesday, January 19, 2011; 8:52 AM

Starting today, Starbucks customers don't have to fumble for their wallets to get their coffee. Now, you can just scan your phone.

Talk about being wired.

The coffee behemoth launched its mobile payment service today, and Blackberry and iPhone or iPod Touch users can download an app that lets them pay through a barcode sent straight to their devices.

According to the press release from Starbucks, the service launched today in 6,800 stores and more than 1,000 Starbucks in U.S. Target locations, though early morning calls to D.C.-area Starbucks could not confirm that the mobile payment system is live in D.C. The service is not yet available at the Target store in Columbia Heights.

The service is based on Starbucks' existing card service and mobile app, which lets customers manage their card balance, load their card with a major credit card (or PayPal account, for iPhone users), and locate the nearest store.

This is the second big launch for Starbucks this week. It announced a new size on Monday, the Trenta, a whopping 31-ounce cup of coffee.

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