updated - May 22, 2013 Wednesday EDT
Dunkin' Donuts is the last franchise to jump on the mobile payment band wagon and rolled out a new app on Thursday that allows customers to pay virtually via their Smartphone.
Customers can now forgo cash or plastic with the app and just flash a Smartphone, as well as send virtual gift cards via text, email or Facebook. This free app, available for both iPhone and Android phones, allows you to pay, look up the nearest Dunkin' Donuts location, and get nutritional information on menu items.
The virtual Dunkin' Donuts card can be filled by transferring the value of an existing physical Dunkin Donuts Card or it can funded through a credit card or PayPal transaction in the app.
A Dunkin' representative said about half of the chain's U.S. customers own Smartphone's. Most of Dunkin's 7,000 U.S. locations will accept the app.
Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz said last week that the company had 60 million mobile transactions in the last year and a half since it launched mobile payments. Schultz said the adoption of mobile payments is the fastest he's seen of any product in the last 40 years. The Seattle-based coffee chain has also invested $25 million in Square, an electronic payment app, and announced it would soon enable Square payments in its locations.
Meanwhile, Target, Walmart, Best Buy, 7-Eleven and about a dozen others on Wednesday announced they have banded together to form a joint venture called the Merchant Customer Exchange, which will eventually create a mobile wallet system accessible through almost any Smartphone.
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