2D Barcode Mobile Payment at Starbucks
Starbucks is rolling out in the US their “Starbucks card” mobile app. The app is an e-wallet tied to your starbucks account and enabling you to pay your caramel macchiato by snapping a 2D barcode printed by the cashier.
Funny enough I had the same idea some time ago since it’s clearly a very time to market way to provide mobile payment with ease (especially since NFC won’t be mainstream before a while). But I found this patent filled by a French guy in Accenture (US2009240626A1)Â which exactly covers this method… I’d be interested to know how they are evading this obvious IPÂ infringement. Maybe they actually paid Accenture to use the patent but I really doubt anyone would want to pay for that, especially since it’s more of a buzz feature than an actual improvement of the POS workflow. Indeed I’m pretty sure paying with that application is longer than swiping a card, but it may help if you leave home and forgot your purse… which is a really marginal use-case.
UPDATE : Seems I misread the application description (and since it’s US only I could not test it) – the app is actually just a digital version of your fidelity card and shows up a barcode when required to be scanned and to debit your e-wallet of the amount of the order. Actually nothing new under the sun, except the fact that you can recharge your e-wallet from that same app. Fairly disappointing.