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Dunkin' Donuts rivals Starbucks with new mobile payment app

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Dunkin' Donuts unveiled a new mobile payments application that allows iPhone, iPod touch and Android users purchase food, beverages and merchandise in store or at the drive-thru window by using the app.

The free Dunkin' App, available for download from Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) App Store and the Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) Play storefront, enables consumers to connect their smart device to their prepaid Dunkin' Donuts Card or their Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express or PayPal account. To complete a purchase, users tap their mobile Dunkin' Donuts Card and present the screen to a store employee for scanning. Account balances are updated immediately.

The Dunkin' App also enables consumers to send mGifts--Dunkin' Donuts Cards delivered to friends and family via e-mail, text or Facebook, ranging in denomination between $2 and $100. The app additionally features a Dunkin' Donuts store locator, links to social media communities and nutritional data. 

The Dunkin' App enables users to pay for food and drink via mobile.

Dunkin' Donuts spans more than 10,000 locations in 32 countries worldwide. Franchisees reported full-year 2011 sales of $6.4 billion.

The Dunkin' App closely parallels rival coffeehouse chain Starbucks' own mobile payments solution, which links iPhone, Android and BlackBerry devices to prepaid Starbucks Card accounts. The Starbucks Card Mobile App is available across all company-operated stores in the U.S. as well as more than 1,000 Target locations, and now accounts for more than 1 million Starbucks transactions every week.

Last week, Starbucks announced it will soon begin processing all credit and debit card transactions using Square's mobile commerce technologies, a move to slash operational costs across the coffeehouse chain's 7,000 company-owned U.S. locations. Beginning this fall, Starbucks stores will swap out their existing point-of-sale terminals in favor of Square, which enables businesses to accept credit and debit purchases by swiping cards through the startup's signature card reader, a small dongle that plugs into a smartphone or tablet audio jack. As of June 2012, more than 2 million businesses and individuals are using the Square service, up from 1 million just six months earlier, with users processing more than $6 billion in payments on an annualized basis.

Thirty-three percent of U.S. consumers have now made payments via mobile device, roughly double the percentage of Americans leveraging m-payment capabilities just a year ago, according to IDC Financial Insights' eighth annual Consumer Payments Survey, issued last month.

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