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RESEARCH | Staff Reporter, UK

Starbucks app leads in U.S. proximity mobile payment use

eMarketer also expects user share to shrink due to newer payment options in the market.

Beating a triumvirate of mobile payment platforms, Starbucks is expected to remain the most popular “proximity” mobile payment app in the United States from this year up to 2022.

According to market research company eMarketer, 23.4 million people ages 14 and over will use the Starbucks app to make a point-of-sale purchase at least once every six months. This is ahead of the 22 million people who will use Apple Pay, Google Pay (11.1 million users) and Samsung Pay (9.9 million).

Proximity mobile payments in particular are made at a cash register in a store. “The Starbucks app is one of the bigger success stories in mobile proximity payments. It has gained traction thanks to its ability to tie payments to its loyalty rewards program. For users of the app, the value of paying with their smartphone is clear and simple—you can save time and money at the register, all while racking up rewards and special offers,” eMarketer forecasting analyst Cindy Liu said.

The global coffee brand’s app is also first in terms of adoption rate, followed by Apple Pay, Google and then Samsung. The latter apps vary in merchant acceptance. eMarketer opines that their share of mobile payment users will continue to drop due to expected new merchant-branded payment apps entering the market.

“Retailers are increasingly creating their own payment apps, which allow them to capture valuable data about their users. They can also build in rewards and perks to boost customer loyalty,” Liu said.

Starbucks worked on their app since 2010 while Apple Pay launched in 2014 – prior to the debut of Google and Samsung’s respective payment apps.

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