Tip Starbucks Baristas from Your iPhone

By Matthew Buzzi , Updated Mar 12, 2014 01:47 PM EDT

The Starbucks app has been good for a while now, allowing you to add gift cards to your account, accumulate points and scan your phone at the register to pay. It's pretty slick and works as quickly and as well as you would want and expect. The company announced that with the upcoming iOS update, you can skip the tip jar and give a bonus to your barista through the app.

It's a small feature, but it's a real sign of how nearly everything is going digital. Of course, like a lot of things, that means a few restrictions. Not that people are very likely to tip more than this, but the app limits digital tips to 50 cent, $1, or $2 increments.

You may not have tipped more than $2, but you might have given extra change, say $1.75. It remains to be see if this will at all short the baristas as people choose $1 over somewhere in between one and two, but people could also be more willing to tip if it's asked in the app they're using.

As I mentioned, this speaks to a trend of everything becoming digital or mobile. More than 11 percent of store transactions are completed with mobile apps such as Starbucks'. And because theirs is efficient as described, Starbucks is the biggest player in that space. There was $500 million dollars of mobile payment transactions in 2012, but the "vast majority" of it was Starbucks.

This is of course due to the prevalence and popularity of Starbucks stores, but also because the app is simple to use and genuinely helpful. The iOS update adding digital tipping coms out March 19, and will be available to use in 7,000 of the roughly 11,000 Starbucks locations in the US.

Source: The Verge

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