Starbucks launched an iPhone app capable of mobile payments all the way back in 2009, but only for early adopters in the tech-savvy Silicon Valley region. The coffee company went on to released the mobile payments system nationwide in January 2011. Then the app was finally brought to Canada late last year.
While Canadian data isn't yet available, we now know that Starbucks mobile payments have been very popular in America. According to a VentureBeat exclusive, Starbucks processed a whopping 42 million mobile payments in the 14 months since it launched the program—that's roughly three million per month, or about 100,000 per day.
In December 2011, this number was only 26 million. This means that the adoption rate is accelerating dramatically as iPhone and Android users learn about the app and become comfortable with Starbucks' ingeniously simple—and totally NFC-free—barcode-scanning system.
“You’re going to see us as a company that will push the envelope around mobile pay,” chief digital officer Adam Brotman told VentureBeat. “We want to innovate in that area before others catch up.” At Starbucks, mobile pay is one of 10 core digital businesses.