Long awaited use of mobile payment portals takes a big step with the announcement that Starbucks will now facilitate the use of mobile devices in the payment process. Although the technology is not new, use on a large scale in the U.S. has been somewhat slow. Not anymore!
SEATTLE, January 19, 2011 – Starbucks (NASDAQ: SBUX) today announced the launch of mobile payment in all U.S. company-operated stores, allowing customers to pay for in-store purchases with select smartphones. Building on the earlier introduction of Starbucks Card Mobile App for select BlackBerry® smartphones, iPhone® and iPod® touch and a successful mobile payment test program, customers now have access to the largest mobile payment program in the U.S. and the fastest way to pay at Starbucks. This national program now includes nearly 6,800 company-operated stores and more than 1,000 Starbucks in U.S. Target locations.
In addition to engaging a loyal base of several million cardholders with the offering, Starbucks anticipates mobile payment will be a draw for customers looking to experience the speed, ease and convenience of paying with their mobile phone. “Today, one in five Starbucks transactions is made using a Starbucks Card and mobile payment will extend the way our customers experience and use their Starbucks Card,” said Brady Brewer, vice president Starbucks Card and Brand Loyalty. “With mobile payment, the Starbucks Card platform further elevates the customer experience by delivering convenience, rewarding loyalty and continuing to build an emotional connection with our customers.”
To experience mobile payment at Starbucks, customers just need to download the free Starbucks Card Mobile App for select BlackBerry smartphones, iPhone or iPod touch mobile devices. More than one-third of U.S. Starbucks customers use smartphones, of which nearly three quarters use BlackBerry smartphone or iPhone mobile devices. In addition to the mobile payment capability, the app allows customers to manage their Starbucks Card account, check their card balance, reload their card with any major credit card (iPhone users can also use the PayPal feature), check their My Starbucks Rewards status and find a nearby Starbucks store with the store locator feature.
Customers can pay with their smartphone by holding their mobile device in front of a scanner on the countertop and scan the Starbucks Card Mobile App’s on-screen barcode to make a purchase. Customers have successfully adopted this technology in test markets in Seattle, Northern California, New York and more than 1,000 Starbucks in U.S. Target stores.
Mobile payment is built on the Starbucks Card platform, which continues to experience significant customer adoption. Customers loaded more than $1.5 billion on Starbucks Cards in 2010, an increase of 21 percent over 2009, driven in part by the My Starbucks Rewards program which provides benefits to customers who pay with a registered Starbucks Card at participating stores. With the introduction of the quick and easy Starbucks Card Mobile App and the mobile payment feature, customer will find yet another reason to use their Starbucks Card for payment.
“Mobile payment is just one example of how we’re continually innovating on behalf of our customers to enhance the Starbucks Experience,” said Brewer. “A growing segment of our customers use smartphones, and through the Starbucks Card Mobile App, we’re providing them with the fastest way to pay.”