Dunkin' Donuts has released a mobile payments application for Android and iOS devices that's similar to the Starbucks app, but with an extra feature of gifting. The Dunkin' Donuts software got me thinking about store apps versus platform mobile wallet apps.
I downloaded the Dunkin' Donuts app to an Android phone and my iPad. It's formatted for phones, but it works fine on the iPad.
Users need a Dunkin' Donuts payment card (either plastic or virtual), which may be set up within the app. Both types of cards are funded by transferring funds from a credit or debit card or PayPal.
The Starbucks app uses only the Starbucks Card, not any separate credit or debit card. Also, like the Starbucks app, the Dunkin' Donuts one lets users make a payment when a cashier scans the barcode in the app.
In addition to payments, the Dunkin' Donuts app may be used to find stores on a map and learn their features and hours. The app also displays nutrition and other food and beverage information. However, obtaining nutrition information requires downloading a PDF file or opening the browser. That's too awkward.
One useful feature is the ability to send someone a virtual gift card in any amount from $2 to $100. A link to the card is sent via SMS, e-mail, or Facebook. The app also has a social networking menu for following the company on Twitter or Facebook.
I had no problem with the app, but is it better to download multiple apps from individual retailers or use a single mobile payments platform like Google Wallet or the upcoming Merchant Customer Exchange? Single-merchant apps might offer more features, but platform apps might be more convenient.