When you go in to buy a beverage or a snack at Starbucks, you’re probably in need of some caffeine.
You may be so tired that you accidentally forgot to grab your wallet and debit card you need to pay for your coffee.
If you have Apple Pay, you may still be able to get your coffee without returning home for your card if your Starbucks accepts NFC payments through the mobile wallet on your phone.
Learn everything you need to know about whether Starbucks takes Apple Pay and what you can do to get your coffee in the morning without a hassle.
Does Starbucks Take Apple Pay?
All Starbucks locations accept Apple Pay and other mobile wallet payments.
You can use Apple Pay when you order at the register inside the store, the drive-thru, or the Starbucks mobile app.
If you have your preferred payment details stored in your mobile wallet, you won’t have any trouble paying for your items at Starbucks as long as you have your smartphone.
Apple Pay stores your debit card information and transfers it to the credit card machine wirelessly when you are in-store or in the drive-thru.
When ordering on your app, you won’t need to transfer data wirelessly since the information is already in your mobile app on your phone.
Starbucks accepts payments from all mobile wallets as they all run on the same technology.
The most popular mobile wallets outside of Apple Pay are Google Pay and Samsung Pay.
POS System Requirements For Apple Pay
What exactly does a POS system need to accept Apple Pay in-store or through the drive-thru?
The POS system must have NFC (near field communication) capabilities, which is a technology that allows your smartphone and the credit card terminal to communicate wirelessly when at a short distance from each other.
After your mobile wallet establishes a connection with the credit card terminal, the payment continues like any other credit card payment.
Most new POS systems sold today include NFC capabilities, and Starbucks has already upgraded all locations to accept NFC payments.
Additional Ways To Pay At Starbucks
You can pay with Apple Pay at Starbucks, but it’s important to understand the other ways you can pay at Starbucks.
Additional ways to pay at Starbucks include:
- Google Pay
- Credit card
- Debit card
- Starbucks gift card
- Bakkt Cash
Benefits Of Paying With A Mobile Wallet
Why would someone opt to pay for their coffee with Apple Pay as opposed to using their debit card?
There are actually several different reasons that someone may want to pay with their mobile wallet.
1. It’s Secure
Many people assume that paying with a mobile wallet must leave your information more vulnerable to hackers since it uses technology.
On the contrary, using Apple Pay is significantly more secure than using a credit card or debit card.
Instead of sending over your credit card details, your mobile wallet encrypts your information so that hackers can’t access it in the case of a security breach.
When you use your physical card, the data is shared with Starbucks and not encrypted, leaving your information more vulnerable.
Granted, Starbucks has secure payment processes, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.
2. It’s Fast
We always seem to misplace our debit cards when we need them most.
However, we always know where our phone is.
Instead of digging through your purse or your wallet, you can use your mobile wallet and pay with Apple Pay to keep the line moving and avoid the frustrated looks from the people behind you.
3. It’s Convenient
Have you ever left your wallet at home or lost your debit card and need to wait days for a replacement?
You won’t have to go to the bank to get cash or go home to retrieve your card as long as you have an active card connected to your mobile wallet.
While it’s not great to forget your debit card at home, it’s nice to know you have a backup if the situation ever calls for it.
4. It’s More Hygienic
Since you don’t have to [physically touch the credit card terminal, Apple Pay offers a contactless way to pay.
After the recent pandemic, people are more interested in paying safely than ever before.
Like some other health precautions that we now consider normal, contactless payments won’t diminish over time.
Rather, people anticipate the trend to grow, even well after the pandemic.
5. It’s Progress
We all benefit greatly from technological advancements, and we should embrace new technology when it comes out instead of shunning it.
When you learn how to comfortably use Apple Pay, it can help you feel more comfortable with other technology you encounter that can make your life easier.
As we mentioned earlier, more and more people are using mobile wallets to pay for their purchases, and you want to keep up with the newest consumer trends.
How To Set Up Apple Pay
Before you can use Apple Pay, you need to add a card to your Apple Pay app.
Here is a step-by-step guide to help you set up Apple Pay:
Step One: Open Apple Pay App
Open your iPhone and locate the Apple Pay app.
The app is automatically on your phone when you get it, so you won’t need to download it.
Step Two: Press The “+” Button
When you open the app, you will see a prominent plus sign that allows you to add a card.
Press the plus sign.
Step Three: Select Card Type
You will have the option to select “debit” or “credit.”
Select the appropriate option and hit “Continue.”
*** You can also add loyalty cards to your Apple Pay app if you have loyalty cards for stores that you use often.
To add a loyalty card, use your phone’s camera to scan the barcode and open the page in Safari.
You will check the box indicating that you agree to the terms and continue to see your loyalty card.
At the top right corner, you will have the option to “add”.
Step Four: Supply Payment Information
Next, you need to supply the credit card details.
You can take a picture with your smartphone, or you can enter the information manually.
The information required is the credit card number, expiration date, security code, and credit card holder’s name.
If any of this information is incorrect, you will not be able to add the card.
If taking a picture, do your best to take a clear picture.
If adding the information manually, double-check the payment data before you submit it.
Step Five: Verify With Your Financial Institution
After you add your card, you may need to verify that you wish to add your card to your mobile wallet through your financial institution.
If your bank or credit card company asks for verification, such as logging into their app or providing a PIN, you will need to complete that process.
Once verified, your card is ready to use.
Step Six: Add Additional Cards
If you have additional cards you want to add to your wallet, you may as well add them all at once.
You can store up to eight cards.
The first card you enter will automatically default as your primary payment method.
You can change your primary card by hitting the default card option in the app and selecting from the stored cards.
Step Seven: Make A Purchase
Before you rely on Apple Pay during an emergency, visit a local Starbucks to try out your mobile wallet.
Bring cash or your physical card with you just in case you didn’t set it up quite right on the first try.
Step Eight: Add To Apple Watch
If you have an Apple Watch, don’t forget to add your card to the mobile wallet on your Apple Watch as well.
It will not upload to the mobile wallet on your Apple Watch automatically.
How To Pay With Apple Pay In Store/Drive-Thru
It’s probably easier than you thought it would be to pay with Apple Pay in only three simple steps.
Step One: Open Apple Pay App
When you are waiting in line, unlock your phone and open the app to make the process as quick as possible.
Your phone must be on and have adequate battery life.
Step Two: Verify Correct Card
If you have multiple cards in your mobile wallet, ensure that you have the correct card selected.
If you want to use a different card, simply select the correct card from the dropdown menu.
Step Three: Hold Phone Close To Reader
When ready, hold your phone close to the credit card terminal and ensure that the two devices establish a connection by seeing a message that tells you your payment was successful.
If you are going through the drive-thru, you may need to give your phone to the cashier or have them bring the credit card reader closer to you.
The credit card terminals extend outside the window for this very reason, so the cashiers will be familiar with the process.
Starbucks offers an app for Apple and Android devices that allows you to place pickup and delivery orders easily.
When you use the app, you also never miss out on rewards since the app stores information about all of your orders.
With Starbucks Rewards, you earn free drinks, receive exclusive offers, and get a free treat on your birthday.
The more you buy qualifying products, the more points you accumulate.
Get the following gifts after each milestone:
- 25 points: free customization of your drink
- 50 points: free hot coffee, hot tea, or bakery item
- 150 points: free handcrafted drink or breakfast item
- 200 points: free salad, sandwich, or protein box
- 400 points: free merchandise, such as a cup or bag of coffee for home
The app can also help you find a nearby Starbucks when you aren’t near your local store, and you can buy gift cards.
Apple Pay Vs. Google Pay And Samsung Pay
Apple Pay isn’t your only option when it comes to mobile wallets.
Two of the biggest competitors to Apple Pay are Google Pay and Samsung Pay.
There are other options out there, but many of the other options only have a small user base at this point.
They all work essentially the same way with some minor differences that may make one more appropriate for you over the others.
Remember that all terminals that accept Apple Pay can also accept other mobile wallets.
Apple Pay is the only mobile wallet for Apple devices.
If you have an Apple phone, you must go with Apple Pay.
If you have an Android phone, you can choose between Google Pay and Samsung Pay.
Apply Pay is accepted in more countries (41) than Google Pay (29) and Samsung Pay (24), which may influence your decision if you often travel to remote locations.
Apple Pay does not store gift cards, but Google Pay and Samsung Pay do.
Apple Pay also does not accept PayPal, but Google Pay and Samsung Pay do.
Apple Pay and PayPal see each other as competition and don’t typically go out of their way to be compatible with each other.
However, you can use PayPal to pay for your Starbucks as well (just not with Apple Pay).
Samsung Pay offers a unique feature that makes it compatible with machines that take a magnetic strip, meaning it can work with POS systems not updated to take NFC payments.
Troubleshooting Apple Pay Problems
Even convenient technologies can give us trouble from time to time.
If you can’t seem to pay for your Starbucks using Apple Pay, there are two problems you may encounter.
The first problem is that you can’t seem to establish a connection between your phone and the credit card terminal.
If this happens to you, restart your phone and ensure that you bring your phone close enough to the credit card terminal.
If that still doesn’t work, ask someone else to try to see if it might be a case of user error.
If it still doesn’t work, there may be a problem with your phone or the credit card terminal.
The second issue you might encounter is a denied transaction.
First, verify that you are using the correct card.
Remember that if the physical card becomes canceled or expired, it will no longer work.
If you still get declined after verifying your card, call your bank to ensure that you properly connected your card to your mobile wallet and that they don’t need any additional verification from you.
Cash is always going to be king.
However, many of us don’t like to carry cash.
Plus, who wants to wait for the cashier to count out the change?
You can feel confident paying for your coffee at Starbucks with Apple Pay or any other mobile wallet once you add your card to the app.
It’s safe, fast, and convenient.
Soon, you will be using Apple Pay almost everywhere you go, and you’ll have your Starbucks coffee to help get you there.