Technology really enables a lot!
“Soon, Starbucks, the international chain of Espresso Coffee, plans to announce that customers of the 6800 stores across the US will be able to pay for their coffee with their cellphones, instead of cash/ credit card. Owners of the Blackberrys, iPhones or iPod Touches can use them to pay by downloading the free Starbucks Card application and hold/ wave their phone in front of the scanner at Starbucks cash registers!” (source: NY Times)
Retailers find it expensive to install scanners that can read shiny cell phone screens. But, keeping in mind, Starbucks has clientele using more of smart phones, this payment facility will be an advantage to draw more business!
In Ahmedabad, India – We wave a hand and get a Chai ( Indian way of expressing ‘Tea’ or ‘Latte’). It has become such a popular way of expression and so it is practiced everywhere in Mumbai as well as some parts of western India. Lately, while I was in Dubai on a business visit, since most of roadside Tea shops are owned by Indian Keralites – I tried ‘waving a hand’ expression – they got confused and became more hospitable thinking I was canceling the already placed order for Tea. Strange! Locality specific norms do not apply every where!!
I guess, this is the fastest way to pay! Wave – a hand or a phone – and you get your coffee! Good fun!