Arguably the most used mobile payments app in the U.S. just moved the genre to a new level by virtualizing one of the most common and most human of commercial transactions -- tipping. Next week the ubiquitous retail café brand will update its mobile app in the U.S., U.K. and Canada with a new more efficient payment system. Among the enhancements, the revised app will now allow a user digitally to leave a tip at the store. Tip options for $.50, $1.00 and $2.00 are enabled in the app. Customers can have the app push them a reminder to tip after the transaction (up to two hours later).
The company will enable the virtual tipping at over 7,000 U.S. outlets next week via its iOS app, but the capability will be deployed in the Android version later this year. The tipping capability was among the most common suggestions at MyStarbucksidea.com, the company’s virtual suggestion box.
Also new in the upcoming upgrade will be an option to surface the barcode for making mobile wallet payments simply by shaking the handset. The entire app is also getting a radical redesign that makes access easier to loyalty points status and payment history on a redesigned account dashboard.
Starbucks says that 10 million customers now make regular use of the app for payments, and m-payments now account for 11% of all transactions. Some analysts believe the Starbucks app is the most widely used and most successful mobile wallet in the world. Rumors persist that the coffee company at some point will leverage that penetration by allowing its app users to pay for a wider range of goods outside Starbucks cafes themselves.