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October 05, 2011


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Sounds like your dealing with AAFES poicy (Army/Air Force Exchange Service) who runs the Starbucks on bases. They're like the Starbucks in grocery stores. No idea what they're doing with the double swipe, but it's not done at retail, company operated US stores.


Def not a retail store practice, so I can't help you there. However, I CAN say, thank you so much for your service to this country!

Stuff seller

I don't know for sure, but I have a solid guess.

At company-owned stores, the POS system both records a transaction, and, processes it. That is, it calls the bank, submits the CC info, etc.

For whatever reason, this licensee is unable to do this. I'd guess it's the location.

So, they use a third-part credit card processing machine, just like the ones at any small restaurant or shop, and charge your card.

But, this does not create a detailed record of the transaction. They'd need this if the transaction was ever disputed, and, it helps their bookeeping.

So, they swipe your card into the POS like normal.

What small businesses without this dance do is just keep all of their credit receipts in a pile, close their eyes, and hope nobody asks for them.

Since they are using a SBUX POS, they're gonna need some kind of workaround or the till would come up short every night.

Ricardo McJiggis

Great explanation!

Mark Perkins

I'm almost sure Stuff seller is correct. They probably need to match up the money taken with a record of the transaction in their own system.

Additionally, corporate Starbucks, at least, track inventory through purchases--so you reorder matcha powder after X number of green tea latte, etc. have been ordered.


Thank You for your service!!


Ditto to Petie's comment. GI Joe would probably get a better explanation from the base CO, or which ever command oversees the vendors on base. It probably is for record keeping, but it could be for security purposes as well.


Starbucks has managed (intentionally?) to confuse me with the payment policies/reward card as well. When you sign up for the rewards card, they tell you "With My Starbucks Rewards, you'll earn 1 Star every time you pay with your Card." Recently (I've been a rewards program member for 20 months but I guess I'm slow) I have noticed that the reward (a coupon for a free drink every 15 stars) seems to come less often than I expected. The answer? Well, if you buy two drinks at once, that's "paying with your card" once. You have to have them swipe your card *separately* for each drink you buy if you want (as I expect most people would) credit for each drink you buy instead of each transaction. Seems like a hassle at the register, but since I most often have a coffee together with my wife, I have been getting half of the free drinks that I thought I was. Color me stupid.

Finely Ground

I work for a Starbucks retail location in the U.S. and I also work for a Barnes and Noble bookstore in the college division. I can tell you for sure that the swipe in the small machine is the one actually processing the payment and the computer swipe is so that all of their sales records are in the same place, not divided between credit on the small machine's tally and everything else on the computer. At my B&N store we do exactly the same thing for my university's campus cash system. Our old IBM registers can't process the indy debit system and so we have a small reader just for that purpose. Hope that helps!


"Does Starbucks record everyones credit card when we pay for stuff?"

Most everyone records your credit card when you use it....

Account Deleted

I don't understand why this is a separate app from the regular Starbucks iPhone app. That instantly caused a bad user experience for me, as I walked into a Starbucks late one evening and tried to figure out how to pay by phone. The Starbucks app tells you which stores accept mobile payment, but not that you have to download a separate app. The store employees didn't have the training to tell me this either, so I ended up paying cash even if it costs online loans for me, which by the way, always works great.

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