Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Blog #2: Starbucks Mobile Payment Method

My article for this week focuses on a new application Starbucks has introduced to allow consumers to use their mobile devices as a method of payment. This new application Starbucks has introduced allows customers to pay for their purchases through the barcode on their store value card. This application being added to mobile devices can be a great way to increase the amount of customers at numerous Starbucks locations, while also paving the way for future retailers in their decision to adopt the tactics of mobile payments.

This new service has come with many informative technological strategies of which the company has made a clear effort to enhance. Starbucks is one of the only individual corporations that are using this barcode payment method for their customers. This being said, the success made through this innovative idea can further lead to the advancements made by other retailers. The benefits that can be shown through Starbucks can lead into the possible success for the future businesses. Through this new technological strategy Starbucks is able to secure their existing customers as well as open the market to new consumers who wish to experience the same level of convenience. Not only does this save people time at the register, but also allows customers to check the balances on their gift cards on this application to avoid the wait and inconvenience of visiting a Starbucks location to retrieve this information. This technology also displays a statistic about mobile phones in this generation in general. It can be validated that 83% of Americans are owners of cellular devices. Due to this increased and continuously increasing cellular device usage, costumers can only find this new service an accommodating advancement in technology.

By creating a faster method for the payment process, one can examine the benefits this would have for the company itself as well as the economy as a whole. By scanning a barcode on a mobile device, Starbucks receives and maintains full credibility for their sales. Also, it saves plastic and helps contribute to the whole effort to “Go Green” by cutting down on the number of value customer cards that have to be distributed on a daily basis. Through having a copy of each customer’s electronic record the customer and business associates are able to resort back to their sales if necessary and attain accurate and quick information, as it is desired.

Looking at the disadvantages to this service can be as important as studying its benefits. A business personnel, Drew Sievers, was the head of this company MFoundry, which powers Starbuck’s new payment plan. Sievers says that despite the convenience of this service, “it is still a contactless payment solution.” This true statement can foreshadow the whole idea of mobile banking. By initially introducing this method, people can see the business world becoming contactless, where consumers go to a store, scan their cell phones and leave. This simple and organized process, in my opinion should not exceed its main contenders. I hope that the future will not bring about millions of methods for mobile payments, because then it will decrease the purpose of store clerks and associates leaving people with less responsibilities, decreasing the values of their job qualifications. I also believe that people should not always experience the “easy way out” in life and that everyone needs to know how to make corrections and express gratitude through personal interaction with everyone present in a person’s daily life.

"42% Americans and their Cell Phones." PewResearch Center The Databank. N.p., n.d. Web. 4 Oct. 2011. .

Adams, John. "Starbucks Mobile POS Success Shows Barcode's Potential." American Banker: The Financial Services Daily. N.p., n.d. Web. 4 Oct. 2011. .

Gunn, Matt. "Starbucks Card Mobile App Could be Tipping Point Toward Mobile Payments Adoption." Home - Bank Systems & Technology. N.p., 19 Jan. 2011. Web. 4 Oct. 2011. .

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