Starbucks app ‘leading mobile payments field’

Starbucks is set to remain the most popular proximity mobile payments app in the US, ahead of Apple Pay and other competitors, according to eMarketer’s latest forecast.

This year, 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. That puts it slightly ahead of the 22.0 million people who will use Apple Pay. Google Pay (11.1 million users) and Samsung Pay (9.9 million) will round out the top four payment apps. The report predicts that the ranking will remain unchanged through 2022.

Apple Pay has the second-highest adoption rate, having launched before the Google and Samsung apps, and is currently accepted at more than half of US merchants. Google Pay is not as widely accepted, but it benefits from being preinstalled on Android phones. While Samsung Pay has the lowest adoption in terms of users, it is the most widely accepted by merchants.

The study noted that competition is intensifying, with the top four app’s share of mobile payment users continuing to drop. This is attributed to new payment apps entering the market, particularly merchant-branded mobile apps.

“The Starbucks app is one of the bigger success stories in mobile proximity payments,” said eMarketer forecasting analyst Cindy Liu. “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.”

Overall, the number of US proximity mobile payment users will grow 14.5 per cent this year to reach 55.0 million. In 2018, for the first time, more than a quarter of US smartphone users ages 14 and older will make a proximity mobile payment at least once every six months.

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