Earlier this year it was reported Starbucks had plans to allow mobile ordering while waiting in line, and now more details have surfaced according to the company’s Chief Digital Officer, Adam Brotman, speaking at Fortune magazine’s tech conference in Aspen, Colorado.
According to Re/code, certain U.S. stores will get to test the new mobile ordering feature later this year, which Brotman says “We will do this and we will get it right.” The complexities being worked out include how to time the order-ahead process so customer drinks are served at the right temperatures and not sitting there getting cold. The company has been testing the setup at its Seattle headquarters within a model store to perfect the ordering system.
But more exciting is Brotman revealed to Re/code the company has future plans to allow the Starbucks iPhone app to pay for things at other stores, acting as a mobile wallet, which would also extend the loyalty program to other retailers too:
Simultaneously, Starbucks is in talks with potential partners to allow its customers to use the Starbucks app as a payment instrument in other stores, Brotman said. The talks also include discussions about potentially extending Starbucks’ customer loyalty program to other companies, too. Such a move could vault Starbucks into competition as a so-called digital wallet: An app that aims to let shoppers pay for goods with their phone at a wide range of disparate brick-and-mortar stores. Brotman declined to name the companies Starbucks is having discussions with.
There have been times I’ve only had my iPhone and dreamed of using my Starbucks app to pay for things elsewhere. Looks like that might become a reality sometime in the future.
Last month, Starbucks introduced mobile charging stations at select U.S. locations, part of what Brotman described as “another step in staying ahead of the curve when it comes to in-store technology.”