Starbucks bringing shake-to-pay, digital tipping and iOS 7-friendly look to iPhone app

Starbucks (iPhone app, teaser 004)

Starbucks, the global coffee company and coffeehouse chain, announced Wednesday that new features are coming to its free iPhone application next Wednesday, March 19.

For starters, coffee aficionados in the United States and Canada will be able to use the firm’s free iPhone app to tip their baristas in $0.50, $1 and $2 denominations at more than 7,000 company-operated locations in the U.S. This has apparently been a much-requested feature.

And to make mobile payments even easier, the app will include a brand new (and pretty handy) ‘Shake to Pay’ feature which does exactly that – you can just shake your iPhone to quickly bring the barcode of your Starbucks Card to the front, saving you diving into Apple’s Passbook app…

The My Starbucks Rewards interface has been streamlined to show multiple transactions in a single day and promotional offers in a single view. The built-in store locator lets you locate nearby Starbucks locations and save your favorite ones.

In light of the recent scare involving the app storing passwords in clear text, Starbucks is ensuring us that it’s since fixed the problem, underscoring that no credit card or payment info gets stored on devices.

Check out a new iOS 7-inspired design below.

Starbucks (iPhone screenshot, Pay)Starbucks (iPhone screenshot, Tipping)

If you have a Starbucks Card, the app makes it easy to set up automatic reloads and add funds via credit cards, as well as send someone a Starbucks eGift Card for any amount between $5- $100, along with a personal message.

Starbucks (iPhone screenshot, Dashboard)Starbucks (iPhone screenshot, Stores)Starbucks (iPhone screenshot, Gift)
Dashboard (left), Stores (middle) and Gifts (right).

Here are some of the headline features of the app:

  • Mobile Payment – For customers looking for the fastest way to pay, the Starbucks App for iPhone offers customers the convenience of paying for their favorite Starbucks beverages with their mobile devices.
  • Digital Tipping (NEW) – Customers can show their appreciation to store partners by tipping through the Starbucks App for iPhone. Customers are given the option to provide a tip in the following denominations: $0.50, $1.00, $2.00.
  • Shake to Pay (NEW) – To simplify mobile payments, customers can now bring the barcode of their Starbucks Card front and center at any time, simply by shaking their mobile device.
  • My Starbucks Rewards status – The My Starbucks Rewards screen has been redesigned to streamline viewing of Rewards history. The display also features new transaction types, such as multiple transactions in a single day and promotional offers, in one integrated view.
  • Reload – Customers can reload their Starbucks Card balance directly from their mobile device with a major credit card. Customers can even set up automatic reloads.
  • Store Locator – Customers can search for the closest Starbucks stores, view the amenities available at each store, and save favorite stores.
  • Starbucks Card eGift- Allows customers to treat friends and family to their favorite Starbucks beverage, food or merchandise through a fast and easy virtual gift from their iPhone. Starbucks Card eGifts can be customized with a personal message and sent directly using contacts or Facebook friend list, for any amount between $5- $100. (U.S. only)

The company says that nearly ten million customers are currently using the mobile Starbucks app, with about eleven percent of transactions a week now happening through mobile devices.

Again, these features will arrive via the next app update, scheduled for Wednesday, March 19. A completely redone Android app, including a digital tipping feature, is due later this year.

Download Starbucks app free in the App Store.