I patronise Coffee Bean stores quite often. On a recent visit, I discovered they had something new. They were promoting their new Coffee Bean Mobile App. You get a $5 voucher instantly just for signing up. Cool. I can get myself a free coffee, or at least pay for the better part of my usual order of an ice blend coffee drink.
The queue was long, so while waiting, I downloaded the app. They have versions for both iOS and Android. Search for “Coffee Bean Mobile App” in the respective app stores. Open up the app and sign up for an account. When you’re done with registration and verification of your mobile number, you’ll be sent a $5 voucher that’s saved in the app.
When it got to my turn to order, well, why not use my spanking new $5 voucher? I asked the service staff. Oh, I couldn’t. Apparently some system of theirs was down and they couldn’t accept the mobile app voucher. Bummer. So much for my $5 discount. But the service staff quickly added that the voucher was valid till 31 May. That’s next week!
Never mind that I can’t use that voucher. I asked what else could I do with the mobile app? You see, the small little placard in the store didn’t quite give much information. The service staff didn’t know! Oh dear. My question had to be escalated to a supervisor, and so I learned from her that this mobile app can contain stored value, which I can then use to pay for my orders. Is that like the current physical Coffee Bean card? Yup, it is.
Nice. I didn’t really like the idea of carrying the Coffee Bean card around. Actually, I really don’t like the idea of carrying too many or any cards around at all. I try to keep only the bare essentials with me. I don’t mind the idea of the various loyalty cards, but I usually decline to get them, simply because I can’t possibly be carrying all of them around with me.
Coffee Bean’s mobile app makes this stored value card much more practical. Having versions for both Android and iOS is great as it caters to both sides of the great smartphone divide. It’ll be really nice to see more loyalty cards and stored value cards going virtual. Perhaps the next thing we have to grapple with is having too many mobile apps in our smartphones!