Starbucks iPhone payment system hitting the UK

You'll soon be able to pay for your gingerbread latte using your iPhone, in a new system Starbucks is introducing.

A new iPhone and iPod touch payment system at Starbucks means that from January next year, Blighty-based caffeine fiends can get their fix using Apple's popular gadgetry.

The service works by linking your Starbucks Card to the Starbucks app. You can then pay for stuff you buy in the oh-so-trendy-coffee-destination using a barcode that's scanned at the till.

The system has proved successful in the US, having been introduced in nearly 6,800 stateside Starbucks branches, reports. It's being put into over 700 Starbucks shops in the UK.

If you're like us, as soon as you find yourself in a queue you whip out your smart phone and start playing games, tweeting and "engaging" with your friends on Facebook.

As your phone's already in your hand, this app could save you a few seconds once you get to the till you'd otherwise spend fecklessly rooting around for your boring old wallet. That's a few extra seconds you get to spend sat on one of the big comfy sofas, working on your breakthrough screenplay.

While this might appease hardcore Starbucks fans, the really interesting thing here is that Starbucks is bringing a mobile payment system to the UK that's not NFC.

Near-field communications tech is already being stuffed inside Android smart phones such as the Samsung Galaxy Nexus , but Google Wallet, which lets you pay for stuff using these chips embedded in your mobile, is only available in America.

Could Apple skip NFC altogether and bring out its own version of mobile payments that uses barcodes scanned at the till? Let us know your predictions in the comments, or on our Facebook wall. And if you're popping out, we'll have one of those massive Christmas gingerbread lattes, please. No cream on top though, we're trying to stay trim.

About the author

Luke Westaway is a senior editor at CNET and writer/ presenter of Adventures in Tech, a thrilling gadget show produced in our London office. Luke's focus is on keeping you in the loop with a mix of video, features, expert opinion and analysis.


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