According to news from 9to5Mac, paying with your Starbucks card was previously supported but was possible with the built-in mobile Wallet app; reloading required using the iPhone app.
Apple first added the ability to use Apple Pay in apps with last year’s watchOS 3 software update, but few apps have utilized the feature so far. Starbucks has decided to give it a shot, and has also updated its iPhone app to work with iOS 11.
Most Starbucks locations will let you pay directly with Apple Pay from the Apple Watch, but using a debit or credit card – instead of a pre-loaded Starbucks card – doesn’t earn Starbucks rewards or points.
And, of course, there is the bonus feature of conveniently and securely loading funds without having to save a debit or credit card to the Starbucks app.
Earlier this year, the company added an update to its iPhone app that included the new add-on feature of the “Starbucks Gifts” iMessage app, which allows users to send virtual gift cards through Apple’s iMessage service and pay for them via Apple Pay.
All of these new features are part of Starbucks' digital strategy, including efforts to push forward mobile uses of its application via mobile-only ordering and gift cards. Additional new features have included enhanced push notifications, restructured mobile ordering and new filtering options for its store locator.