Starbucks Mobile Payments
Starbucks is everyone’s favorite coffee shop (well nearly everyone’s.). What is even more fascinating about Starbucks is their mobile payment app. Starbucks mobile payment app, which is currently a closed-loop system, i.e. you can only use the app at Starbucks locations, is one of the most successful mobile payment apps, period.
Some will argue Apple Pay and I would agree, but Apple Pay was a delayed entrant into the market, so I will not count that. Another reason not to include Apple Pay into the mix is because it works on Apple’s iPhones only.
The Starbucks mobile payment app is helping the company boost up its revenue numbers (you can read a more detailed report about Starbucks revenue number in this article: Once Again, Starbucks Shows Google And Apple How To Do Mobile Payment – also see Starbucks Q2 FY15 Earning Report), it would only be logical for CEO Howard Schultz to look at this and not wonder if this app can somehow be monetized across other retail sectors.
Someone at Starbucks must have gone to the CEO and cited “Boss, we need to make this app go global. We need to allow our users to walk into a McDonalds and pay with the Starbucks app. Or Subway, or any large retailer“.
It would be conniving of Starbucks not to consider opening up the wallet to other retailers, given the immense success of it. I would wager a bet, a cup of Starbucks Coffee of course, that in 2015, Starbucks’ will formally enter into payment world, where their payment app would be made available to other retailers.
As of the writing of this article, they have not yet shown up in any registry for as a money transmitter license holder, but then again, if they have great banking relations, they might forego the whole MT Licenses and opt to be an authorized delegate of a bank (which bank would be foolish enough to deny them this right).
If Starbucks does enter this space, they would give the likes of PayPal, Apple Pay and Android Pay a serious run for their money. Granted Starbucks may not be able to immediately onboard all the large retailers, etc. but don’t discount that. The harder the task, I bet there is someone at Starbucks HQ saying “I can do that!”
I am confident this will be a revenue generator for Starbucks and Starbucks might even spin this off as a separate division within the company.