Paying for Starbucks coffee can be done in a multitude of ways. Cash, payment cards, or even Bitcoin are all acceptable payment methods. But WeChat feels left out, and came up with a plan to rectify the situation. Through a strategic partnership between Tencent and Starbucks, a new social gifting feature has been created. This brings a new era of mobile payments to coffeeholics all over the world.
WeChat its one of the most popular social messaging apps in China. Additionally, it also very commonly used by Chinese natives living abroad. Now that they welcome Starbucks as their first retail brand to offer locally relevant social gifting options, things are bound to get exciting. More importantly, the 846 million active WeChat users will enjoy this feature thoroughly.
WeChat Pay Comes To Starbucks In China
Users in China will be able to gift Starbucks to friends and family members. Everything is done instantly through a mobile device, which is becoming the new medium of payments and social communication these days. Plus, WeChat Pay will be supported by roughly 2,500 Starbucks stores across China.
Starbucks China CEO Belinda Wong explained it as follows:
“This new strategic partnership will leverage the strengths of both Starbucks and WeChat to create a true online-to-offline social gifting platform that will deepen our engagement with our customers in a unique and powerful way. Just as Starbucks cards are among the most gifted around the globe, we aspire to also become the most gifted brand digitally in China.”
Innovative digital experiences are e a top priority for the coffee giant. Introducing social gifting is an intriguing idea that can be quite successful in China. Starbucks also uses this opportunity to strengthen their digital presence and promote their own mobile app to boot. But the addition of WeChat Pay support is perhaps the biggest change, as it adds a payment method that can bring in a lot of new customers.
For the time being, it seems this will not be a direct competitor to the Fold app. Paying at Starbucks with Bitcoin is convenient, even though the payment is not made directly between consumer and the franchise. Instead, users purchase a gift card balance with Bitcoin, which they can then spend. Any remaining balance will be refunded after the user requests it.
Digital payments are of great value to retailers all over the world, mainly those with an international presence. Starbucks stores can be found in virtually every major country, yet making a digital payment can only be done in select locations. Fold has a competitive edge over WeChat in this regard, though. Bitcoin users can buy coffee wherever US Dollar payments are accepted.
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