Starbucks has unveiled a new iPhone app that will allow customers to tip from their smartphone, a move that flexes the coffee giant’s digital muscle and could help line baristas’ pockets with money from the millions who use mobile devices to pay for their lattes. Right now all tipping at Starbucks is done in cash. Customers paying with a credit or debit card or with the Starbucks card cannot leave tips unless they have cash in hand.
Mobile payments may not be catching on as quickly as we’d like, but one company is leading the pack when it comes to buying things with your smartphone. The Starbucks mobile app already lets customers store money on their accounts and pay with their phones, and a new update for its iOS app lets you tip with your iPhone or shake the device to make paying for your coffee an even quicker experience. Tipping with the Starbucks app on iOS requires just a few extra taps, offering the option to give your barista 50 cents, $1 or $2. You can also jump straight to your Starbucks Card barcode by opening the app and quickly shaking your phone. For now these new features are restricted to the company’s iOS app, though Starbucks says Android should see a similar update later this year.