Starbucks Mobile Payment Demonstration

The Starbucks mobile payment system might accurately be described as consumer experience and loyalty program, more than a technology breakthrough. It uses a minimum of new in-store or consumer technology and an initially-simple way of replacing a credit card swipe with a bar code reading.

 The 2D barcode in the Starbucks Mobile Card app, which is no longer a QR code in the latest version, currently appears to encode only the card account number, effectively acting as a replacement for the magnetic stripe, notes FaceCash CEO Aaron Greenspan.

"Right now from the POS viewpoint only encoding the account number works well because it doesn't require any additional POS customization," says Greenspan. The advantage is speed: the transaction is fast because it's treated effectively the same as a card swipe, which is already pretty fast.


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