Starbucks unveils a new service that allows customers to pay directly from their smartphones.
Starbucks is now letting customers use mobile devices like smartphones, rather than cash, check or plastic, to actually pay at the register.
The coffee shop has essentially digitized the gift card.
Like others, MSNBC tech guru Bob Sullivan downloaded the Starbucks mobile pay-app, transferred money into the new account, and then scanned the app's on-screen barcode to make a purchase.
"It’s very convenient and the best part for me is it's one less card I have to carry in my wallet; no more Starbucks card," said Sullivan.
The mobile pay app is, indeed, expected to spread quickly.
However, some advocates warn that something so easy can easily get out of hand.
"When you have a payment application right on your phone it makes it a little bit easier to do both absent minded spending and impulse spending," said Catey Hill of SmartMoney.
Starbucks has already added another incentive.
They’re offering rewards for frequent users of its new mobile pay app.
The application is so far available for Blackberry phones, iPhones, and the iPod touch.