As someone who cannot really function without some coffee, I go to both Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts on a regular basis. Both have their uniqueness. One aspect that bothered me was the lack of a Dunkin Donuts app, similar to the Starbucks one which allows you to pay directly from your iPhone or Droid. Now Dunkin offers the same service! About time!
Aside from the fact this will make my purchases oh so much easier…it is another sign of why most people are more concerned about losing their smart phones than their wallets. The trend will be for more vendors to leverage smart phone apps to empower transactions. For vendors this has a multitude of advantages:
- Free cash flow – when I put another $100 on my Starbucks card (the scary part is that amount doesn’t last nearly as long as it should) that is $100 of free cash that Starbucks gets to leverage. Clearly I do not get $100 worth of Starbucks immediately, Starbucks gets cash before having to deliver the product.
- Data data data – through the app the likes of Starbucks and Dunkin have a great opportunity to mine very specific data related to their customers. What stores they go to, what are their favorite products, at what cadence do they reload their cards…and so on.
- Channel opportunity for up sell – they are on your phone. Imagine those opportunities when it comes to pushing promotions and the likes.
I could imagine other firms moving in this direction, think about any company that has some type of customer loyalty program. Empower it with purchasing power. Makes one wonder what the future of cash is…