Because coffee. According to a blog post from eMarketer, Starbucks’ mobile payment service (which operates by way of the coffee house chain’s main mobile app for about seven years now) seems to be the market leader in the United States, in terms of the number of users who have completed mobile payment transactions.
The mobile payment service of arguably the world’s most famous coffee brand even managed to surpass big names such as Apple Pay, Google Pay (which recently underwent major upgrades), and Samsung Pay. Per eMarketer’s estimation, Starbucks’ system had registered a total of 20.7 million American users last year, edging out the 19.7 million users accumulated by Apple’s contactless mode of payment. This year, Starbucks is expected to finish 2018 with 23.4 million users, yet again leading (albeit ever so slightly) over Apple Pay’s projected 22 million users (more on this later).
There is no doubt that the usage level of Starbucks’ mobile payment system gets a massive boost from the brand’s popularity (and people’s fondness for a caffeine fix at any given time of the day), but the company should earn kudus for making its whole mobile payment process easy and quick.
Moreover, it appears that the coffee giant has made the wise decision to tie its mobile payments with loyalty. Indeed, by accessing the Starbucks mobile app, customers also get to check and even manage their card balance as well as the status of their star rewards. Lastly, the company has done a swell job of achieving consistency in its mobile payment experience -- every coffee drinker knows that in any Starbucks location, they can rest assured that the mobile payment service not only works, but is secure, too.
With regards to eMarketer’s projections for this year, the firm says that 23.4 million users (14 years and above) will be taking full advantage of Starbucks’ mobile payment service in order to facilitate a point of sale (POS) purchase transaction, at least once in every six months. As mentioned earlier, Apple Pay will be at 22 million users, followed by Google Pay’s 11.1 million, and Samsung Pay’s 9.9 million.
And there is more -- according to eMarketer, there is evidence to conclude that Starbucks’ dominance in terms of mobile payments will likely continue until the year 2022. By then, the company’s system is expected to reach 29.8 million users, versus Apple Pay’s 27.5 million.
Of course, a lot can happen from 2018 to 2022. For all we know, Apple could be unleashing a new feature on Apple Pay that could drastically change eMarketer’s projected rankings. Still, Starbucks has every reason to be happy for now. Another iced hazelnut macchiato, please.
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