Last Wednesday, January 18th, nearly 6,800 company operated Starbucks started accepting mobile payments. Customers using the Starbucks Card Mobile app on their iPhone, iPod touch or BlackBerry can now use those devices as payment – an Android application is in the works. To pay with their phone, app users simply select “touch to pay” and hold up the barcode on their mobile device screen to the 2-D scanner at the register. Starbucks is using its own custom-built technology to enable the 2-D mobile barcode scans. The coffee retailer opted for barcode scanning over near field communication technology because of its limited availability. This technology will eventually allow Starbucks to connect with their customers more frequently, directly, and closely. Starbucks has always been ahead of the curve with social and technology as they listen very closely to their customers’ needs and wants, but you can expect to see more retailers rolling out mobile payments over the next year or two not just because people want it, but because it allows retailers to connect with their customers better.