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Starbucks Is Smashing Payments

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Starbucks sees mobile payments grow to new heights

It’s widely known that Starbucks mobile app gets a lot of attention from its customers, thanks in part to a wonderfully easy payments system that integrates seamlessly into the app. The numbers will, no doubt, continue to rise as Starbucks plan to roll out a potential pre-order programme, but for now the figures are impressive enough.

Revealed in the first-quarter 2014 results, company CEO Howard Schultz said that Starbucks now had ten million active mobile users of its payment app, with 7.3 million of them being located in the US. It’s also interesting that 5 million of those are Gold Status members, meaning that they make 30 purchases linked to a My Starbucks Rewards loyalty account in one year.

It was also revealed that thanks to the combination of mobile and Starbucks card payments, these purchases now represent 30 per cent of all payments in the US – a mind-boggling fact to swallow.

In the first-quarter of 2014 Starbucks processed more than 40 million new Starbucks cards, representing an eye-watering $610 million in the US and Canada. And, during the Christmas lead up, Starbucks saw two million new card activations per day – a crucial tool in securing new customers into the business.

It’s widely known that the coffee company are major players in the mobile payments space thanks to its partnership with Square, its ability to top up cards via a users phone, and their rather liberal decisions on adopting and experimenting with new technology. Paying for a coffee with a hashtag, anyone?

Still, to have a payments platform where around five million customers make a purchase each week, that’s mightily impressive stuff. It’s also a strong case study for when a mobile payments service works exceptionally well, and blends nicely into Total Payment’s next month-long feature around Mobile Wallets and who really wants anything to do with them.

Make the payment painless and tie its benefits to rewards and delicious coffee and you might just have one highly-desirable mobile payments application.


[Image: Brik De Maeyer - Flickr]

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