SEATTLE – Mobile and gift card payments continue to grow for Starbucks, CEO Howard Schultz announced last week, and now represent more than 30% of total U.S. payments for the coffee retailers, Mobile Payments Today reports.
According to Schultz, roughly 10 million customers now use the mobile app, with the company processing nearly 5 million mobile payments each week.
Schultz said consumers have begun embracing both physical and digital gift cards more widely than ever before. "Starbucks was prepared for both of these shifts having invested over many years in the creation and development of proprietary world class digital and mobile payment and card technology and expertise," he said.
“This expertise and the assets that support it enabled us to seamlessly process more than 40 million new Starbucks card activation(s) valued at (more than) $610 million in the U.S. and Canada alone in Q1, including (more than) 2 million new Starbucks card activations per day in the days immediately leading up to Christmas and $1.4 billion of Starbucks card loads globally."
Schultz said traditional bricks and mortar retailing is now at a crossroads. "No longer are many retailers only required to compete with stores on the other side of the street. They are now required to compete with stores on the other side of the country. Navigating the seismic shift will continue to be very, very difficult for me.”
However, he said Starbucks is well positioned to thrive in that scenario, preparation that he credits to the company’s digital initiatives.
"We invested and continue to invest well ahead of the curve and today have world-leading proprietary digital, social, mobile payment and card technologies and assets," he said. "These assets are enabling us to broaden and deepen our connection to customers, enhance overall Starbucks customer experience and further (distance) ourselves from competitors.”