You can now use your iPhone or BlackBerry Tour, Curve, or Storm to order a Frappuccino at Starbucks, or anything else the outfit sells. All you need to do is download the Starbucks Card Mobile app.
"Enter your card number and your device will display a barcode you can use as your Starbucks Card to make purchases," Starbucks explains. "It's fast. It's easy. And it's a revolution in mobile payment."
Starbucks says the Mobile Pay feature is available at more than 7,500 store locations, including all Target Starbucks stores, in the U.S. You can check your local Starbucks by using the Store Locator and using the Mobile Payment filter.
If you live near a Starbucks (and let's face it, who doesn't?), you have one more bastion of free connectivity to make use of. Starbucks' free Wi-Fi service has started up today as planned. The best part, other than that it's free, is that it only takes two clicks to log on. Just agree to the terms of service, and connect.
Starbucks previously had a paywall scenario where AT&T customers could get free access, but others were limited to 2 hours before they has to pony up some cash. All the corporately owned stores in the US and Canada are going to be doing this, so you might see some franchises with a different set up. If you've tried it already, let us know what sort of speeds you can get while enjoying a tasty beverage.
Coffee chain Starbucks is partnering with Yahoo to roll out free Wi-Fi to all its locations starting on July 1. The current Wi-Fi setup offers access free access to customers who have a registered Starbucks card, or are AT&T subscribers. Non-AT&T customers that register are only able to get 2 hours of free access. AT&T customers must go through a multitude of steps to gain access to the free connection, but there is no time limit. If you don't fall into one of those categories, the cost is $3.99 for two hours of access. It's not the most appealing deal considering many businesses already offer free Wi-Fi.
Starbucks described the process of accessing the new Wi-Fi as "one click". We hope that means users won't have to register to use the service. Customers that use the new Starbucks network will see targeted content from various media partners including Yahoo and AOL. But you'll also get access to some WSJ, New York Times, Zagat, and USA Today free of charge. Users will also be offered a free iTunes download of the week. We think that's a reasonable tradeoff for free Wi-Fi where it was previously a paid service.
There have been instances of small bars and restaurants giving discounts to the Foursquare user with the most visits to the establishments (called the Mayor in Foursquare jargon). This, however, is the first real example of a national business offering discounts on such a scale. Starting now, and running through June 28th, the mayor of any particular Starbucks location will get a $1 discount on a Frappucino there.
Starbucks seems to have embraced the social game where users check-in as they go about their business, racking up points and getting badges for completing achievements. The coffee chain previously created a "Barista badge" for Foursquare users. This promotion isn't interesting because it's such a great deal, but because it shows companies are beginning to see the advantages these social games can have in marketing.
Are you a Foursquare user? If so, what sort of product tie-ins do you think would work?