Starbucks and iPayYou – touted as “The World’s Most Useful Bitcoin Wallet” – is working together to offer the former’s customers a convenient way to pay for coffee and other menu items via cryptocurrency. Using iPayYou’s automated conversion process, a bitcoin is converted in US dollars in real time via Bitcoin Direct. Customers who want to pay for any Starbucks item via digital currency initially needs to commission a specific bitcoin amount to be transferred to the iPayYou wallet. The wallet then sends the specific bitcoin amount in a customer’s Starbucks app using conversion rates in real time.
It was only a few weeks ago when Starbucks executive chairman Howard Schulz revealed the company’s plan to use blockchain tech within its payment app. In an interview Schultz did with Fox Business, he decscribed the likelihood of blockchain technology to be widely applied in Starbucks’ consumer products. He declared, “I believe that we are heading into a new age, in which blockchain technology is going to provide a significant level of a digital currency that is going to have a consumer application.” Schultz similarly acknowledged the value of technology’s future role in fulfilling Starbucks’ goal to “expand digital customer relationships”.
Besides Starbucks, iPayYou is similarly involved with numerous tech integrations with other companies. iPayYou has recently issued gift cards that permit bitcoin holders to buy such cards from mainstream chains and retailers – Starbucks included. Meanwhile, the coffee company is also continuing on its foray into mobile innovation via its announcement of an Artificial Intelligence solution for its mobile customers. Essentially, a barista will be available on customers’ mobile devices at their easy beck and call. Starbucks is also integrating with WeChat mobile app and Tencent in order to penetrate the mobile market of China.
According to Michael Becker, the managing partner of education and advisory services firm mCordis, cash will eventually be replaced by digital currency. He stated, “The world is changing, we are all becoming increasingly connected, and even though 92 percent of transactions still happen in a physical retail space vs. online, when it comes to managing the transaction the lion share of value exchange shortly will be transacted digitally rather than physically with cash.” Becker similarly added his belief on what the future of cash will be by stating, “Physical cash will be some day, in our life time, go away..Cash is a dinosaur.”