A Starbucks customer uses the Starbucks iPhone app to pay for a coffee at… (Katie Falkenberg / For The…)
Almost two years after Starbucks began accepting mobile payments at its stores, the company announced that a virtual tip jar would be coming soon.
On Thursday, the coffee giant announced that it would add digital tipping to its mobile payment app by the summer of 2013.
In not too long a customer who uses her phone to pay for a Venti skinny latte will feel just as guilty throwing in a dollar tip as if she had paid in cash.
In January 2011, the company introduced a Starbucks app that connects to the customer's credit card or debit card account. It has since been used for more than 70 million transactions, the company said in a news release.
Beginning in early November, Starbucks' roughly 7,000 U.S. stores will also accept payments through Square, a mobile payment start-up founded by Jack Dorsey, who also founded Twitter.
Square users will show Starbucks cashiers a digital bar code on their phone, which can be scanned for payment.
However, paying for a coffee at Starbucks may soon get even more futuristic.
Reuters reports that eventually customers using Square won't even have to pull out their phone to complete a transaction. GPS technology will detect that their phone is in the store. All the customer will have to do is give their name at the cash register, and a barrista will verify the payment through a photo displayed on the register's screen.
The changes in mobile payments announcement came on the first day of Starbucks' three-day Global Leadership Conference in Houston, where 10,000 Starbucks store managers gathered for training sessions.
The company also announced that the Starbucks mobile payment app is now easy to integrate with Passbook on the iPhone and iPod touch. After downloading the Starbucks app, users just need to touch "add to Passbook" once, and from then on, they can swipe their Starbucks pass in Passbook to pay at Starbucks stores.
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