Starbucks Gives Mobile Payments Industry a Jolt

Starbucks, one of the most iconic corporations in the U.S., has rolled out a mobile payments program that will enable customers to make purchases with their smartphones. Never mind that the same near-field communications (NFC) technology has already been in use in other parts of the world for several years, this will have a significant impact on the emerging mobile payments industry in the U.S. The program will be available at every Starbucks location across the nation, and customers can download the free Starbucks Card Mobile App for use on select BlackBerry, iPhone and iPod devices. Users then will be able to pay for their purchases by holding the app’s on-screen barcode in front of scanners placed in more than 7,500 U.S. stores. The U.S. is much later to the mobile payments party than parts of Asia and Europe, where…