Starbucks: Mobile payments now 10% of all U.S. transactions


Mobile payments now account for more than 10 percent of all transactions across Starbucks stores nationwide, the coffeehouse chain said Tuesday.

The Starbucks Card Mobile App connects iPhone, Android and BlackBerry (NASDAQ:BBRY) devices to prepaid Starbucks Card accounts to enable barcode-based checkouts. Mobile payments represent "a very sticky transaction by virtue of the fact that people have preloaded their money that we hold for them in anticipation of that coming transaction," Troy Alstead, Starbucks' chief financial officer and chief accounting officer, revealed Tuesday at the Jefferies Global Consumer Conference, according to a Seeking Alpha transcript. Alstead added the mobile payments offer "an ability for us to harvest that information and really determine the most effective ways over time to understand our customer to target products toward them and the appropriate ways to reach them with our messages."

Total Starbucks Card transactions, including both physical card and mobile app purchases, constitute almost one-third of the company's U.S. payments, Alstead noted.

Starbucks recently said it now counts roughly 4 million mobile payment transactions per week, doubling from 2 million at the end of 2012. In addition, Starbucks Card Mobile App purchases currently account for more North American mobile wallet transactions than high-profile rivals like Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) Wallet and U.S. carrier-led Isis, according to a Berg Insight report issued earlier this month.

Speaking with analysts in January, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz said the company will increase its menu of mobile commerce services this year, with mobile tipping as well as new ordering and personalization tools slated to launch in the months ahead. Starbucks is also exploring new opportunities to exploit partner Square's mobile payment technologies, which rolled out across 7,000 U.S. stores late last year. "We are in the nascent stage of being able to leverage and integrate social, digital, mobile, our investment with Square and [our] loyalty program into a very significant and robust opportunity going forward," Schultz said.

For more:
- read this Seeking Alpha transcript
- read this article

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