A Seattle virtual currency provider is embedding its service in Starbucks' popular mobile app.
The service doesn't actually use bitcoin to make payments at the coffee chain, but may attract people who use bitcoin. Consumers who use the service, called Bitcoin Direct to Starbucks, enter a dollar amount they wish to transfer, and the proper amount of bitcoin is transferred from the user's iPayYou account to a Starbucks stored-value account.
The users can see the corresponding amount in their Starbucks app, and make payments in the same manner as if the account were funded from cash or a payment card.
This update to the iPayYou platform follows the recent launch of iPayYou’s gift card integration, which allows bitcoin to be used to instantly purchase gift cards from retailers including Starbucks, Best Buy, and Apple's iTunes.
Starbucks is one of the major success stories in mobile commerce, about a quarter of its payments come via the mobile channel and its order ahead app accounts for about 10% of its total volume. It also recently partnered with WeChat to aid its expansion into China.