Starbucks’ in-store mobile payment service is slightly outpacing Apple Pay

“Starbucks is winning the in-store mobile-payments war, beating tech heavyweights Apple, Google, and Samsung Electronics at their own game,” Jon Swartz reports for Barron’s. “The cafe chain’s mobile-payment service will be used by 23.4 million Americans this year, edging Apple, with 22 million. Alphabet’s Google unit, with 11.1 million users, and Samsung, with 9.9 million, lag far behind, according to an eMarketer report released today.”

“Starbucks’ app has resonated with its loyal customers, who can monitor and manage their card balance and star rewards,” Swartz reports. “Starbucks’ success in mobile technology highlighted otherwise uneven first-quarter results and its stock has slumped 8% over the past year. This year, Starbucks shares are down 0.7%.”

“EMarketer expects Starbucks to slightly lengthen its lead over the next few years, to 29.8 million Americans by 2022, compared with 27.5 million for Apple Pay, 14.9 million for Google Pay, and 13.2 million for Samsung Pay,” Swartz reports. “Some 55 million Americans now use [in-store mobile-payments], compared with just 2.7 million in 2011, according to eMarketer. An estimated 74.9 million Americans will use mobile devices for payments in 2022, eMarketer estimates.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Sounds like eMarketer forgot to factor into their projections Starbucks’ new “nonpaying customers” and how they’ll potentially affect actual paying customers.

Apple teams with Goldman Sachs on new ‘Apple Pay’ credit card due early next year – May 10, 2018
10% of young adult Americans have used Apple Pay in-store, well ahead of rivals – February 28, 2018
Apple Pay Cash international roll out begins – February 23, 2018
Apple Pay users more than double globally, but only 16% of iPhone users have activated Apple Pay – February 22, 2018
Apple Pay now accepted in 50 percent of U.S. stores and is the world’s most accepted contactless payment system – January 31, 2018
watchOS 4.2 delivers Apple Pay Cash to Apple Watch – December 5, 2017
Apple Pay now in 20 countries, takes 90% of all contactless payments where active – October 24, 2017
Apple Pay is proliferating, and the banks are scared – October 18, 2017
Apple Pay likely to get boost from Visa and Mastercard mandating contactless payment terminals – August 21, 2017
Apple Pay usage estimated to rise sharply in United States due to frustration with slow Chip-and-PIN cards – August 21, 2017


    1. Since the report is about use, it is certainly possible that Apple Pay (as well as the others) are used initially to ‘fill’ the Starbucks card/app with funds which is then used multiple times to get Star Rewards points.

      If Apple Pay were to ban filling Starbuck cards with funds you may still have the same number of Starbucks users but ‘lose’ the ‘fill’ payments Apple Pay counts towards its use at present and result in a net drop in Apple Pay use. Apple Pay users IMO make up a significant portion of the Starbucks clientele.

    1. You are a case in point of a user that is included in both Starbucks and Apple Pay. As there may be users from other Pay systems (as well as the Starbucks Star Rewards gift card) using the App on Android, it is certainly possible for Starbucks to have a larger user pool than any single Pay system by itself.

      1. These are IN-STORE figures only. reloading the Starbucks app via Apple Pay is an electronic transaction and therefore not counted in eMarketer ‘s figures.

        1. Ok, so it may be less. We can count Apple Pay used IN-STORE to purchase the initial Starbucks card or a Gift card used then to ‘fill’ the Starbucks App then the App used to actually purchase Starbucks menu items and get Star Rewards points. The latter method, though a bit more cumbersome, yields the user a nice plastic card to collect and Star points which he/she would not have received should the Apple Pay be used directly to make the menu purchase.

  1. Apple Pay hasn’t exactly been a world beater though has it? I was excited by it at first and now rarely use it. There is still a bit of inconsistency among businesses in it’s implementation. The ease of use which Cook touted isn’t exactly realized.

    (It’s been 1674 days or 4 years, 7 months & 1 day day since Apple last updated the Mac Pro.)

  2. It’s only good if you drink coffee or tea like 7-11 program. Apple Pay is different in the sense of device, the question is privacy and passing personal info onto someone’s computer.

  3. I use Starbucks in-store payments everywhere! Just the other day, I used it in Starbucks, Starbucks and Starbucks and that was just in the morning!! Later, THAT SAME DAY, I used it in Starbucks and then a Starbucks and I think, like, right after that, I used it in a grocery store… that had a Starbucks inside.

    “Starbucks Pay, it’s everywhere you want to be.. as long as where you want to be has a Starbucks.”

  4. Actually, I use my Starbucks card in my Apple Wallet to pay at Starbucks. I can use my Starbucks account to pay at any Starbucks in the world. I’ve used it in Japan, Hong Kong, Canada, USA, Korea and the currency conversion is automatic. Starbucks gives incentive to use your Starbucks account. I haven’t been able to use Apple Pay anywhere I go. It was an interesting concept when it started, but now with credit cards having NFC built into it, it’s more convenient to just use my credit card than to pull out my device. Let’s say if I used Apple Pay, I get an automatic 10% discount at every store I use it, I might think twice.

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