Starbucks says 1 in 6 payments already mobile

The company said it accounted for 90 percent of mobile payments in the US last year

Starbucks
The company that embedded wildly expensive coffee into your life now wants to make it fast, easy and nearly thoughtless to pay for it. For example, working with Square, Starbucks can turn your phone into a wallet that even tracks digital receipts (though we may not really want to know just how much we spend on latte and foam). Starbucks also launched what turned into the biggest LivingSocial promotion to date, selling 1.5 million gift cards in one day. Customers could also link the gift card to their loyalty card and keep on sippin'. Starbucks wants to be a "pioneer," says chief digital officer Adam Brotman, in blurring lines between technology, marketing and customer experience.

Starbucks The company that embedded wildly expensive coffee into your life now wants to make it fast, easy and nearly thoughtless to pay for it. For example, working with Square, Starbucks can turn your phone into a wallet that even tracks digital receipts (though we may not really want to know just how much we ...

Starbucks says mobile payments are taking off in a big way and it's already handling almost 7 million a week at its U.S. coffee shops.

That accounts for 16 percent of all transactions at its stores and, the company says, meant it transacted 90 percent of all of mobile payments in the entire U.S. in 2013.

Starbucks says mobile payments are taking off in a big way and it's already handling almost 7 million a week at its U.S. coffee shops.

The company's slice of the national mobile payments market is sure to dip in the years ahead as other retailers start catching up to Starbucks, in part thanks to the recent launch of Apple Pay, but Starbucks says it sees no slow down in consumer adoption of its mobile payments technology.

Starbucks has integrated payments into its its own app, which allows customers to keep a prepaid Starbucks card on their phone, enabled with automatic refills when it gets low on cash, and keep a list of favorite drinks to make ordering easier.

Starbucks has apps for both Apple iOS and Android devices. On iOS, the prepaid Starbucks card is integrated with the phone's Passbook digital wallet app.

"What you're going to see in the years ahead will be a rapid acceleration in mobile device purchases and a continued significant migration away from bricks-and-mortar commerce," said Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks, in a conference call with investors Thursday.

Schultz said mobile users represented "a huge prize" for retailers and financial services companies and that's why there is so much interest in the sector.

"That's why every tech and financial service company in the world is today chasing the mobile payment opportunity," he said. But he said that while Starbucks doesn't have the hardware and software expertise of competitors, it has managed to do something that its competitors, so far, haven't: change consumer behavior.

"We've accomplished this by integrating the convenience of mobile payment to a compelling and enjoyable program that gives our customers rewards," he said.

Starbucks is seeing growth of 50 percent a year in mobile payments and looking ahead, Schultz said, "the real growth is yet to come."

Martyn Williams covers mobile telecoms, Silicon Valley and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Martyn on Twitter at @martyn_williams. Martyn's e-mail address is martyn_williams@idg.com

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags starbucksretailconsumer electronicssmartphonesfinanceindustry verticals

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Martyn Williams

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?