Analysts: Starbucks’ Bar-Code Embrace Unlikely to Slow NFC

Tom Zind

While NFC-based mobile payment could roll out by late this year, Starbucks, the world’s largest coffee shop chain, has made it clear it is not prepared to wait.

Starbucks announced yesterday it would roll out its mobile-payment service based on 2-D bar-code technology to all 6,800 company-owned Starbucks stores in the United States, in addition to 1,000 other Starbucks outlets in Target discount department stores. It has billed the service as the "largest mobile-payment program in the U.S."

But at least two mobile-payment analysts and the head of the company that developed the m-payment application for Starbucks believe the 2-D bar code technology is only a prelude to NFC, perhaps even for Starbucks itself.

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