Everything these days is being transformed and translated to their more efficient versions. Manual systems are being automated; goods can now be ordered online and delivered to your doorstep; and banking can now just be a phone call away.

With all these advancements, startup companies can now leverage on the advantages of mobile technology in ways more than one. Mobile technology has become a great equalizer for businesses to prosper regardless of size. With knowledge on how to take advantage of such, small businesses can now make their voices heard. A great way for small companies to jumpstart their businesses is by using cloud-based Customer Relationship Management (CRM) application which enables companies to stay in contact with each other and their clientele regardless of proximity and time zones. Telecommuters can access important files, emails and other information whenever and wherever they are as if physically being in the office.

Through advanced and secure infrastructure that incorporate mobility with web convergent solutions, everything could be processed easily and conveniently. This is a drive that Starbucks Corporation, one of the largest coffee retail chains, went for and was proven to be a worthy undertaking.

Last year, Starbucks took a step further towards improving its services by introducing the Starbucks Mobile Card Payment System to its thousands of advocates across America. This application, which is currently available for download from any iPhone™, iPod Touch™, iPad™, and Android™ devices, was designed to address Starbucks’ customer’s demand for mobility, which is very important in today’s fast-paced and time-constrained environment.

The Starbucks Card Mobile payment application was conceptualized and established to cut customer ordering and waiting time, giving them more time to relax and enjoy their cups of joe. In addition, this is also Starbucks’ way of promoting environmental awareness and contributing to the green movement. Through the scan-and-go mobile pay system, customers are able to pay for purchases the fast and easy way without the hassle. Since everything is electronic, it reduces the use of plastic gift cards, promote a more efficient ordering process whilst providing more advantages to customers.

The application is jam-packed with great, intuitive features where users can check out their balances and transactions, reload or top-up using any major credit card, and track loyalty program points earned through the My Starbucks Rewards program. And if customers are uncertain about what to order, they can view the menu options available through the Starbucks app for iPhone where a comprehensive view and description of coffee and drinks are available for everyone’s convenience and reference. Nutrition information are also provided under each entry of whole bean coffee, tea, and other drinks. What’s even better is that the mobile payment application works on any Starbucks drive-thru and retail counters which meant that anyone can now have fresh, hot, coffee delivered to their door!

Launching this mobile application is a milestone for Starbucks and its 7,000 company-operated stores, including more than a thousand Target outlets and nearly a thousand Safeway branches. But contrary to what many think, this is not the first time Starbucks piloted such a venture. In fact, the program was rolled out to select Starbucks stores way back September 2009 to test how the market would react. It was proven to be a worthy initiative because after extensive testing, Starbucks has captured the interest and loyalty of 3 million people in the US alone within that year.

Starbucks Chairman and CEO Howard Schultz, in his speech during last year’s Starbucks Annual Meeting of Shareholders at Marion Oliver McCaw Hall in Seattle, mentioned that mobile payments is just one element of a much broader and larger social digital media strategy Starbucks has been hiding under its sleeves. This mobile payment system helps facilitate brand identity to crossover with consumer-packaged goods (CPG).
As proof of their crossover strategy success, Starbucks generated $194M in sales upon launching its instant coffee, VIA, in its first year. Thanks to to Starbucks Card Mobile application, the numbers continue to rise. While retail and CPG were initially perceived to be rivals, Schultz foresees that through the mobile payment system, they won’t soon be. The application is expected to ultimately connect consumer-packaged goods and retail, incorporating both segments as one cohesive entity through the loyalty programs activated via the use of application. Such success is evident as the Starbucks brand topped Facebook’s list with 29M fans, and is equally popular in Twitter and Foursquare.

The application proved to be a breakthrough for which Starbucks achieved tremendous growth – the best-performing financial quarter of its 40-year history – where 22% transactions are attributed to this application. “Starbucks now offers the nation’s largest mobile payment network,” says Vice President of Starbucks Brady Brewer.

Starbucks’ Mobile Card Payment system is incredibly easy to use and is socially relevant too! Users can share their locations as well as their drinks of choice through Facebook and Twitter. And if users have no clue where to go, the application simply points them to the nearest Starbucks store, which also allows them to search amenities offered on each one.

By keeping abreast of the latest mobile technology, companies can double or triple their chances at success. Investing in such applications have been proven to be of great significance especially in terms of customer service and referrals, which directly translates to a boost in business volume in the short and long term basis.

So to coffee junkies out there, take advantage of this new service offering by Starbucks and experience how conveniently you can get a fresh cup. For more information on this application, visit http://www.starbucks.com/coffeehouse/mobile-apps/mystarbucks or start reading the mobile app FAQ. The Starbucks Mobile Card Application is free for download from the App Store.