How to pay for your Starbucks on a Blackberry

 In mobile

blankRecently you may have started to see people like me using their phones to pay for coffee at Starbucks outlets in the UK.

This is a very simple procedure using the iPhone app or Android app.

UPDATE JULY 2012: The Android Starbucks app is now available in the UK. For Blackberry users you will need to follow my steps below.

If however you have a Blackberry, you can only look on in frustration if you are a plastic Starbucks card holder knowing that it will take 4-5 scans of your (outdated) magnetic strip technology to pay for your coffee.

Fear no more!  I have found a foolproof way of getting the Starbucks mobile card experience onto your non-iPhone.

4 simple steps (assuming you have an iPad, iPhone or Android)

  1. Grab the Starbucks iPhone app on your iPad from the app store (or from Google Play if you also have an Android).
  2. Enter your Starbucks card number into the app so that it allows you to display the card’s barcode (it will look like this)


3. Take a screenshot of the barcode (hold bottom button and power button at same time on the iPad)

  1. Email yourself the screenshot, trim to just show the barcode image and show the barcode as a picture using the picture viewer to the scanner in the store – this works!


I’ve had multiple Baristas ask how I got the Starbucks card Blackberry app – now you know!

While you are here ...



London-based Pragmatic Futurist and former IBM Global Managing Partner, Andrew is a popular and sought-after presenter and commentator on issues around digital disruption and emerging technologies. He is a multiple TEDx & International Keynote Speaker. Watch his speaking showreel here, enquire about availability & fees here or listen to his latest Podcast - "The Pragmatic Futurist Podcast" on your favourite app.

Showing 5 comments
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    Great life hack from @AndrewGrill : How To Pay For Your Starbucks on Blackberry or Android

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    London Calling: How to pay for your Starbucks on Blackberry or Android (non app method): Recently you may have s…

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    RT @AndrewGrill: A @starbucksuk barista praised my Starbucks mobile non-app hack details at “brilliant – so many ppl asking 4 this”

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    Stuart Ward

    So it is just a straight card number encoded as a bar-code. That should be easy to scam.

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    Andrew Grill

    There was an experiment showcased at where Jonathan Stark offered his Starbucks Card barcode for use by others. In my case, I care not to share my Starbucks barcode with anyone except the Barista taking my payment.

    My post explains how to get your own card barcode onto a blackberry – same as if I had shown my iPad to the Barista.

    I am sure Starbucks has gone through a rigorous risk assessment re fraud issues and deemed as the card is a “low value” stored card all is ok.

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