Starbucks Mobile Payments Coming to Android & 1,000 Safeway Locations

Starbucks is extending its popular mobile payment system to Android device owners, and introducing the alternative payment option at 1,000 Starbucks locations inside Safeway supermarkets — Vons, Pavilions, Dominick’s, Randalls, Tom Thumb and Genuardi’s stores included — this coming July.

By July, the coffee retailer and crossover consumer packaged goods company will be accepting mobile payments at roughly 9,000 Starbucks locations in the U.S.

Starbucks for Android will be available exclusively on the Android Market beginning Wednesday, June 15. The application has been optimized specifically for Android, and offers device owners — running version 2.1 or above of the OS — the same pay-by-phone barcode-scanning experience as those on the iPhone or BlackBerry.

The application also allows the user to manage his Starbucks Card balance, reload his card, view his My Starbucks Rewards status and find nearby stores.

“With the addition of Starbucks for Android to the Starbucks app line-up, a Starbucks mobile payment app may now be used on approximately 90% of smartphones currently in use,” said Adam Brotman, Starbucks’s vice president and general manager of digital ventures.

January marked the nationwide rollout of Starbucks’s mobile payment system. By the end of March — just nine weeks later — Starbucks told its shareholders that it had processed more than 3 million mobile paymentsvia its Starbucks Card Mobile application for iPhone and BlackBerry.

“We we were the first to offer large scale mobile payments,” said Chuck Davidson, Starbucks category manager for innovation on the Starbucks Card team, during a press conference Tuesday. “And we’ve seen the demand for our applications grow.”

In addition, Davidson disclosed that he is often asked about the brand’s status on using NFC technology for itsmobile payments system. “Quite frankly, we’re not willing to wait for the NFC system to mature in the United States,” he said. He anticipates that consumer adoption of NFC-enabled phones is still two to three years out.

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