Apple announced Starbucks as an Apple Pay partner when it unveiled the mobile payment system last fall, and today the coffee chain is beginning to roll out support for Apple Pay through the latest version of its iPhone app.
While Starbucks does not yet accept Apple Pay in its brick-and-mortar stores, customers have long been able to pay with the iPhone app in stores using a digital Starbucks Card barcode scanned by a barista. Starting today, customers can load credit to a Starbucks Card within the app using Apple Pay as a payment method. The use of Apple Pay means you no longer have to manage separate credit or debit cards with a Starbucks account username and password to manually reload the app for payment in stores. You can simply reload your Starbucks Card within the app using any Apple Pay card, with Touch ID and your fingerprint authorizing the transaction. Using Apple Pay to reload your Starbucks Card will make the process much faster.
Accepting Apple Pay with a checkout terminal would be most ideal, but the current implementation does provide a way to both use Apple’s mobile payment service and still receive reward points for your purchases.
Apple Pay within apps is currently available for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. The iPad mini 3 and iPad Air 2 can also complete transactions within apps using Apple Pay, but the Starbucks mobile app is only available for the smartphone as paying at a register with a tablet would be less ideal.
In addition to including support for Apple Pay, the new version of the Starbucks iPhone app includes enhancements to the menu, and Starbucks says the Mobile Order & Pay experience at its Portland location has been improved with the new version.