Study: Starbucks Mobile App Usage Exceeds Popular Payment Apps

Just how popular is the Starbucks mobile app? In 2018, 23.4 million people aged 14 and above will use the app to make a POS purchase at least once every six months, according to eMarketer. That’s more than the users of today’s most popular proximity-based mobile payment apps, including:

  • Apple Pay (22 million);
  • Google Pay (11.1 million); and
  • Samsung Pay (9.9 million).

The Starbucks mobile app does have a built-in advantage in that it’s available on both iOS and Android, while usage of the other payment apps is restricted by the type of phone users have. Even so, the widespread adoption of the Starbucks app shows that if any retailer has unlocked the secret to providing a convenient and easy mobile payment experience, it’s the coffee retailer.

Starbucks has a firm grasp of mobile payments — its Mobile Order and Pay functionality within the app, which lets users order ahead of time and skip the line, represented 12% of company-operated transactions in the U.S. in Q2 2018. The coffee giant heavily integrates the app with its Rewards loyalty program, which accounts for 39% of U.S. sales.

Other payment apps suffer from mismatches between consumer and retailer popularity. For example, while Samsung is the most widely accepted of the three payment systems — approximately 80% of merchants have it, according to eMarketer — it’s the least popular…