Starbucks Leading The Mobile Payment Parade: 10% of US Transactions Involve Smartphone

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News Posted: Sat, Jul 27 2013 11:31 PM
As far as rewards programs go, Starbucks has one of the least attractive on offer. Frequent hotel dwellers and airline goers have been pretty upset lately by point devaluations that are ruffling through the industry, but Starbucks gives loyal drinkers next to nothing for stopping in on a daily basis. Clearly, that's not hurting sales. The coffee giant still seems to be pulling customers in left and right, and while you'd think it would have to offer something fairly amazing to get people to pay using their phone, that evidently is not the case.


Mobile payments on the whole have struggled in the United States. Google Wallet has been all but a dud, and while Square is doing well, that still involves a physical credit card for most purchases. Starbucks, however, seems to be on its own planet. A new report suggests that 1 in 10 purchases made at Starbucks (U.S.) now involves a phone. That's right: 10% of all Starbucks transactions in the United States are completed with a phone.

Starbucks, to its credit, has been pushing mobile payments, and the Starbucks app makes it easy to pay using rechargeable Starbucks gift cards. But again, why are people doing it? The reward program is hardly awe-inspiring, so perhaps it's just easier? Or perhaps it's just the typical Starbucks crowd being more willing than most to give new technology a chance. Either way, it's interesting to see a cafe pushing mobile payments in a way that most other retailers could only dream of, even without heavy incentives to use it.
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RayYoung replied on Sun, Jul 28 2013 4:16 PM

As a small town merchant I like hearing how Starbucks is doing well with mobile payments. I read them about partnering with Square. But it's great to hear that they are doing well on their own. I would like to be able to take in mobile payments in the future. I used the mPowa card reader (http://goo.gl/L03lj) when I joined a few festivals last year and it tripled my sales. But I would like to be able to take in cashless, card-less payments in the future.

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BijanSh replied on Tue, Jul 30 2013 1:40 PM

Starbucks has definitely done a great job of building a great relationship with their customers using mobile payments. I noticed that Dunkin Donuts is also doing this now. There is a company that focuses on offering a similar service to the quick service chains. You can visit them at virtualnext.com

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