Does Starbucks Take Apple Pay 2023? (Revealed)

Updated On: is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you.

Does Starbucks Take Apple Pay? Starbucks started accepting Apple Pay as a form of payment in its stores all over the country on Friday, October 24th, 2014. It was a surprise that had been hinted at earlier in the day by Howard Schultz, Starbucks' CEO, who said during an interview with CNBC's Squawk on the Street that improving their mobile payments would be one of his top priorities.

Starbucks had just come off a successful launch of their mobile app last year which allows customers to pay for drinks and snacks by scanning their phone at the register.

The reaction from Starbucks' CEO came after seeing other companies jump onto Apple Pay, including Whole Foods, Disney, Subway, Nike, Walgreens, and others. This payment option is available to any of the 575000 iPhone 6 and iPhone 6+ devices already in circulation.

Even though Starbucks has always led with its customer experience, it's still surprising that they made the switch to Apple Pay so quickly.

It helps that Apple Pay works at Starbucks by using NFC to communicate between the iPhone and the register. It may be that Starbucks was just looking for a way to get ahead of their competition in this aspect by working so closely with Apple.

Despite the benefits, it's rare for a business to give up its own mobile payment system completely and move straight to Apple Pay. Some speculate that it could be because Starbucks has been working on another mobile payment system of their own.  

It's possible that Apple Pay was not an option for them so they decided to go with the best one available—which is obviously Apple Pay.

What Is Starbucks?

Starbucks Corporation is a coffee company and coffeehouse chain that was founded in Seattle, Washington. It's the largest coffeehouse company in the world based on market capitalization and number of stores with 23000 stores worldwide.


They're best known for focusing on high-quality whole bean arabica coffees and their ethically sourced beans. They also provide free Wi-Fi internet access to customers and other exclusive perks for their loyalty program members.

How Does Starbucks ' App Work?

Starbucks' app works in conjunction with the Starbucks loyalty program: My Starbucks Rewards (MSR). Customers earn a star for every purchase that goes toward free items. You can use your stars to pick out drinks and food from the store, or you can redeem them online by buying gift cards.

All customers have to do is download the Starbucks app on their smartphone and sign up for My Starbucks Rewards directly within the app. They will need to put in their credit or debit card information so that they can pay for items with their phones. If there's not enough money in your account, the app will allow you to reload right away.

What Is Apple Pay?

Apple Pay is a mobile payment and digital wallet service by Apple that allows its users to store bank accounts, credit/debit cards, and reward cards on their iPhones. It uses NFC to communicate between your phone and the register.

apple payy

The biggest benefit of this payment system is that it's extremely secure with tokenization, fingerprint ID security, and unique encrypted numbers for every transaction making it much more difficult to steal credit card information.

How To Pay Using Apple Pay At Starbucks?

Once you follow these steps, your payment is complete. You'll be able to use Apple Pay at Starbucks within 7-10 seconds after scanning your fingerprint ID on your home button. You'll feel like you're buying something at the grocery store since it's as easy as swiping a credit card.

How To Pay Using Apple Pay At Starbucks
  1. Open the Wallet app on your iPhone.
  2. Click the plus sign to add a credit or debit card.
  3. Enter in all of your information, including the card number, expiration date, billing zip code, security code (CVV), etc.  You can also take a photo of the front and back of your card. After all of your information is entered in, click "Next".
  4. Your iPhone will automatically detect the card you are trying to add because it uses NFC. It'll then pop up with a message saying that you're ready to pay at any Apple Pay-enabled store.
  5. Pick the card you want to use by sliding it to the top.
  6. Pick the location you want to buy in by sliding it to the bottom.
  7. On your home button, press your thumb/finger down until you feel a slight vibration. Your iPhone will then unlock when it senses that you are using your fingerprint ID. You can also give Siri a command by saying "I'd like to pay with my Starbucks card." This will open up your Starbucks account and you'll be prompted to press the home button again.
  8. Scan your fingerprint ID on the home button.
  9. If you have multiple credit cards saved in Apple Pay, just choose which one you want to use. Otherwise, your transaction is complete and you'll be able to receive a receipt.

How Does Apple Pay Work?

Apple Pay can be used on iPhone 6, iPhone 6s, iPhone SE, and the new iPhones 7/7+ for example. In order to use it, there are three things that have to happen:

Your device has to be an iPhone (sorry, no iPads), NFC has to be turned on for your phone, and you have to add a credit or debit card. Your device will not work with the accessory stores like Starbucks unless it's an iPhone.  

Once all of those three steps are fulfilled, it's extremely easy to pay using Apple Pay at stores that accept it. All you have to do is hold your phone up to the card terminal while keeping your thumb on the home button.  

Your iPhone will beep twice upon payment and you'll receive a receipt right away showing how much money was just removed from your account.

How Do I Set Up Apple Pay?

Set up is simple and can be done directly from your iPhone or through the Wallet app on your device. In order to use this service, you will need an iPhone with a near-field communication (NFC) chip that runs iOS 8 or higher. If you have a newer phone with the required hardware, you can set up Apple Pay by following these steps:

Enter your name and email address. Open your Wallet app and tap "Set Up Apple Pay." Tap Continue. Enter your billing information into the form provided; then create a 4-digit password that will be used to verify most purchases.

Receive and acknowledge the information you entered. Confirm your shipping and billing address by tapping each one, then tap Next. You will be prompted to enter your credit card information as well as any relevant security codes.

Enter your information as requested. If asked, choose if you want to allow Apple Pay purchases from within apps on your phone. Tap Turn on when prompted to activate Apple Pay.

What Are The Benefits Of Using Apple Pay?


Apple Pay uses tokenization, fingerprint ID security, and unique encrypted numbers for every transaction. This makes it extremely difficult to steal credit card information.


You can pay in less than 7 seconds using Apple Pay at Starbucks simply by holding your phone up to the terminal without having to scan any codes or anything of that sort. You can also pay while you're standing in line without having to go to the register first.


Apple Pay will be used by more stores in the near future, so it's extremely convenient to be able to use your phone instead of carrying around cash or taking out your wallet.

Decent Rewards: 

Not all places that take Apple Pay have great rewards programs. However, if you're a Starbucks loyalist, you'll be able to get your sugar fix faster by using the app. Plus, you'll also be able to rack in points and rewards for every purchase just like when paying with a Starbucks gift card.

What Are The Benefits Of Accepting Apple Pay At Starbucks?

Increased Customer Base:  

By accepting Apple Pay, Starbucks has the potential to gain more loyal customers because it's so easy and quick.

Increased Businesses:

Receiving payments through an app like Apple Pay opens up the door for other businesses to utilize apps in order to receive payments.  

For example, if you want to pay your friend $20 for that concert ticket that you bought together on StubHub, you can simply use your Starbucks app. The app will allow split payments between friends by sending the money directly through the phone.

More Payment Methods: 

Customers can finally use their Starbucks app instead of carrying around cards or cash.

Less Theft:

By using the phone to pay, there will be less concern about having your credit card information stolen. If someone does break into your phone and then tries to steal payments, it's easy to lock them out by changing your password.

Increased Revenue:

Stores that accept credit cards and Apple Pay will enjoy higher revenue since there is less chance of theft and customers are more willing to make purchases.

What Are The Disadvantages Of Using Apple Pay?

Less Acceptance:

Although Apple Pay is gaining popularity as a payment method, it can't be used everywhere yet. Some stores like Walmart and the dollar store still do not accept Apple Pay as a form of payment.

Not Compatible With All Devices:

Although the iPhone 6, 6s, SE, and 7/7+ are compatible with Apple Pay, older versions of iPhones do not work. Also, Android users still do not have access to using Apple Pay.

Cannot Pay In Some Places:

Some stores only allow you to pay for your purchase without having to wait in the checkout line. Apple Pay cannot be used for this purpose.  

Difficult To Understand:

Since there are three different steps needed before you can use your phone at stores, some people find it more difficult to understand.

Can't Use Rewards:

Since Apple Pay users cannot sign up for a rewards program, they will not be able to qualify for the same deals and free offers that other cardholders receive.

What Are The Disadvantages Of Accepting Apple Pay?

Requires Set-Up:

Stores need to get an Apple Pay machine in order to accept payments through the app. This will take up time and money in order to fix and replace these machines when they break or malfunction. Also, stores must make sure that they have a reliable wifi connection since you'll be using data when paying with your phone.

Frequent Updates:  

Since Apple updates its software often, there's a chance that you'll need to update your app in order to use it. Updates can be time-consuming and difficult for stores since they will require another person to do the job.

High Processing Fees:

Apple charges stores a processing fee since they are the ones who have to handle your money. This fee can be as high as 2% of the purchase price, which is more than what banks receive for credit cards.

Is Apple Pay Safe And Secure?

In most cases, yes. When you create an account and add a new card to your phone, Apple uses multiple layers of security in order to protect your information.

If your phone is stolen or broken into, it's easy to lock the app with your password or find your device. You can also use Find My iPhone to make sure that you're not forgetting where you left your phone.

If someone manages to get into the app and starts making purchases with your card, Apple can easily issue a refund for your money rather than letting the thief keep it. These refunds require proof that the purchase was fraudulent and usually takes about 3-5 business days.

Is Apple Pay Safe And Secure

Just like with your credit cards, you will be responsible for any purchases that the thief makes. Apple does not provide extra protection from thieves since they have nothing to gain from it since users use their own cellular data.

So long as you don't lose your phone or make large banking mistakes, Apple Pay is a safe and secure way to pay for items online and in person.  

Your information is encrypted and kept between your phone, Apple's servers, and the store you're purchasing from. Apple also has a great track record for helping users with fraudulent charges by offering refunds or replacements.

How Is The Customer Support Service Of Starbucks And Apple Pay?

As one of the largest fast-casual dining restaurant chains in the world, Starbucks is well known for its customer service and support. Their website includes both email and chats support options as well as a phone number you can call.

When it comes to Apple Pay, most stores have an FAQ section that can answer many of your questions about using Apple Pay. You can also contact your local Starbucks to learn more about how to use apple pay.

Where Else Apple Pay Is Accepted?

Apple Pay is accepted by many retailers that use NFC payment systems. You can check if your favorite store accepts Apple Pay by downloading the mobile app from the iTunes Store or checking for signs in their store. Many retail stores, including Walgreens, Whole Foods Market, and Petco all accept Apple pay as a form of payment.

What Other Methods Of payment Does Starbucks Accept?

1. PayPal:

PayPal is a global company that specializes in digital payments and money transfers. When you sign up for an account, you can add any bank or credit card information that you already have to your account.  


You can then link the app to your Starbucks rewards card so that when you pay through PayPal, it will automatically use your card to earn your rewards and save you money.

2. Debit Cards:

You can set your debit card to auto-reload every time you reach a specific spending limit. This is an easy way to ensure that you never run out of money while making purchases at Starbucks.

Debit Cards

3. Cash:

Starbucks allows its customers to pay with cash, which is both safe and simple. Just make sure to take note of your purchases so that you can correctly track your spending.


4. Chip Cards:

Chip cards are similar to the magnetic strip on standard credit cards but contain built-in security features to help prevent fraud and unauthorized charges. Starbucks will accept these cards but does not provide instructions for using them at their stores.

Chip Cards

5. Credit Cards:

Many companies, including Starbucks, accept any major credit card. Use your Apple or Android Pay to use this method of payment at the checkout station.

credit Cards

6. Google Pay:

Google's mobile payment system has many of the same features as Apple Pay and works just about anywhere that allows you to use regular credit or debit cards. You can add any bank account that uses a Visa or MasterCard to your Google Pay app, making it one of the most versatile choices for paying at Starbucks locations.

Google Pay

What Is NFC Technology?

Near Field Communication, or NFC is a type of smart technology that is most commonly used in credit cards. The system allows you to securely transmit payment information with just a tap of your phone.

Not only does this allow you to pay for items more quickly, but it also makes entering passwords much simpler since you don't have to type them every time you pay for something.


The future is bright for Starbucks and Apple, especially since many other companies are making the switch over to Apple Pay. As for the rest of us, we're probably just waiting for Apple Pay to release its next product which is expected to be a smartwatch that will be able to use NFC as well.

As for now, we're just going to have to stick with mobile payment systems and customer support services in order to pay our bills.

Michael Restiano

I lead product content strategy for SaltMoney. Additionally, I’m helping our broader team of 4 evolve into a mature content strategy practice with the right documentation and processes to deliver quality work. Prior to Instacart, I was a content strategy lead at Uber Eats and Facebook. Before that, I was a content strategist at SapientNitro, helping major Fortune 500 brands create better, more useful digital content.

Leave a Reply