There’s one thing Starbucks customers want more than coffee: more coffee faster.
For on-the-go New Yorkers who hate to wait in lines, Starbucks’ new smart phone app could turn out to be as welcome as that first morning rush of caffeinated bliss.
After ordering, customers wave their phones over a barcode sensor to pay for their beverage of choice. No more waiting for the people ahead of you to count out change or sign credit card receipts.
The app is funded through a credit or debit card. Unlike a Starbucks card, users can see the balance in their account on their screens as money is added or debited, as well as loyalty program points.
The app, which was test-marketed in New York in October before a national rollout last month in 6,800 Starbucks-owned shops, has been a huge time-saver for subway train operator Todd Murrell.
“After I enter Manhattan, I have eight to 15 minutes from when I get to the World Trade Center before I have to start my [route] again,” said Murrell, 37, of Jamaica, Queens, who uses his BlackBerry to pay for his Sumatra or grande vanilla Americano coffee habit five to six times a week.
“It’s fast and convenient when you need it,” he said.
Customers also can use the app to buy the variety of items sold in Starbucks’ shops, including packaged coffee, food and even CDs.
The app, which is free, can be found in app stores for iPhones and BlackBerrys. An app for users of Android phones is in the works, Starbucks said.