Starbucks offers new way to pay

By Becca Clemons

Popular coffee chain Starbucks announced Wednesday that Starbucks Card holders can use a more convenient way to pay—with their smart phones.

The Starbucks Card Mobile App is now available for free download for select Blackberry smart phones and for the iPhone and iPod touch, a Starbucks news release said. This option for payment is available in over 7,500 of the chain’s stores.

However, the three Starbucks locations on UK’s campus do not accept this payment option because they don’t have the technology needed to scan the barcodes from a phone’s screen.

Since the Starbucks stores on campus are licensee locations, which are different from other franchises, they use different machines to process payments. The on-campus stores use a proprietary cash register system that is not equipped with a scanner.

UK Dining Services Executive Director Scott Henry said Starbucks notifies its licensee locations when a change is announced, and Starbucks has not contacted the university about the new mobile application.

Henry said it is assumed that the new tool requires a register system that the UK Starbucks do not have and that the university cannot afford.

Other Starbucks stores in Lexington near the UK campus, such as the ones on South Broadway, East High Street and Nicholasville Road at New Circle, do accept mobile payment.

Starbucks said in the release that the app will increase speed and convenience as customers are paying. The app also allows customers to check their Starbucks Card balance, reload their cards, check their My Starbucks Reward status and locate nearby stores.