Portland Starbucks Locations First to Beta Test iPhone Order-Ahead Feature

Back in March it was first reported Starbucks was set to test a new mobile order and pay system right from iPhones, with a future beta city to be announced later on.

That city has turned out to be Portland, Oregon, as customers there will now be able to pre-order and pay for beverages from their iPhone, walk into a store and grab their drinks, bypassing the line, according to WIRED:

The new “Order” tab will simply appear in customers’ apps when they’re within a set of GPS coordinates where the service has become available. (Where it’s not, users will see a new “Menu” tab.) And it won’t even seem like a radical change. If you’re paying at the counter with your phone already, ordering with it, too, won’t seem any weirder than ordering from Amazon.

“We designed this mobile order-and-pay capability to just feel like a natural extension from an experience perspective,” Starbucks Chief Digital Officer Adam Brotman tells WIRED.

Future rollouts at its 12,000 U.S. locations will happen on a city-by-city basis in 2015. According to the coffee-chain’s CEO, Starbucks processes 47 million transactions weekly with 15% (7 million) of these happening via mobile, which is pretty impressive.

4 Order Confirmation Order 315x607

Starbucks also has plans to roll out delivery in the U.S. sometime in the future, along with leveraging its popular smartphone app as a digital wallet to be used at other retailers as well.

It most likely will be a while before we see this new technology in Canada, so don’t hold your breath. Starbucks enabled mobile app payments for Canadians back in the fall of 2011.