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Starbucks Mobile App - Chris Clackum

Use mobile devices & smartphones, rather than cash, check or credit cards, to pay at Starbucks. But SmartMoney's Catey Hill warns: watch out for impulse spending. Works with Blackberry's, iPhones, iPod Touch

Use mobile devices & smartphones, rather than cash, check or credit cards, to pay at Starbucks. But SmartMoney's Catey Hill warns: watch out for impulse spending. Works with Blackberry's, iPhones, iPod Touch
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Starbucks Mobile App - Chris Clackum

Starbucks is now letting customers use mobile devices like smartphones, rather than cash, check or plastic, to actually pay at the register.

The coffee shop has essentially digitized the gift card.

MSNBC tech guru Bob Sullivan downloaded the Starbucks mobile pay app, transferred money into the new account and then scanned the app's on-screen barcode to make a purchase.

"It's very convenient and the best part for me is it's one less card I have to carry in my wallet. No more Starbucks card," said Sullivan.

The mobile pay app is expected to spread quickly. However, some advocates warn that something so easy can easily get out of hand.

"When you have a payment application right on your phone it makes it a little bit easier to do both absent-minded spending and impulse spending," said Catey Hill of SmartMoney.

Starbucks has already added another incentive. They're offering rewards for frequent users of its new mobile pay app.

The application is available for Blackberry phones, iPhones and the iPod touch.

Use mobile devices & smartphones, rather than cash, check or credit cards, to pay at Starbucks. But SmartMoney's Catey Hill warns: watch out for impulse spending. Works with Blackberry's, iPhones, iPod Touch Do More... For Less with the Money-Saving Tips & Videos on SpendLessTV.com - Get More for Your Money, and Your Life!