By Kate Samuelson
April 11, 2017

Coffee lovers are now able to treat likeminded friends to Starbucks gift cards simply using iMessage on an iPhone. And as an incentive, the first 45,000 people to set up the special Starbucks Apple Pay system and send a $5 Starbucks gift card to someone in their contacts will receive one $5 gift card themselves. The special offer ends on April 23, or until all 45,000 gift cards are redeemed.

Last year, a Wall Street Journal analysis of “Where Money Lives” revealed that some people are storing more of their money with the coffee chain than they are at banks. The data showed customers have a total of $1.2 billion loaded onto Starbucks cards and apps for future lattes or snack purchases — which is more than the First Commonwealth Financial Corp. and Charles Schwab had in deposits at the time.

Detailed instructions about sending gift cards over iMessage are available on Starbucks’ website.

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