Thursday, March 13, 2014

Starbucks to add digital tipping to iOS app

You may have wondered, as we have, how tips were being affected by the Starbucks apps many are now using to pay their coffee tab with. Obviously, it would not be positively, but that might change next week. A digital tipping feature will be added to the iOS version on March 19, Engadget reported on Tuesday, with an Android version with the tipping option slated for release later this year.

Starbuck's mobile payment apps accounts for over 11 percent of in-store transactions. It's unclear what the split is between the mobile platforms, though.

The tipping option will give customers a two-hour window after a transaction to give a tip of $0.50, $1, or $2. The digital receipt held in the app will be adjusted to include the tip amount. iPhone digital tipping will be available for purchases made at any of the 7,000 company-owned stores in the U.S. Starbucks said it plans to make digital tips available in other countries, but did not share specific timing.

In addition to the tipping feature, the new version of the Starbucks iPhone app will include a new interface. Starbucks Chief Digital Officer Adam Brotman told CNet the UI and flow are inspired by Starbucks' partner Square.

Brotman said:
We're really excited because tipping has been something our customers have been really asking for. More and more customers...carry cash with them less and less these days. It's nice to be able to leave a tip for your barista and your store using mobile payment now on the iPhone app.
In mid-January, Starbucks was slammed when it was discovered that the iOS version of its app stored usernames and passwords in clear text.

The flaw was fixed soon thereafter, and Brotman added that the app has been reviewed by third parties for security.

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