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Google Wallet, look out - Starbucks processed 42 million mobile payments in 15 months

April 10, 2012

While Google Wallet is still struggling with security and privacy issues and far from reaching its potential, Starbucks seems to have got the grasp of mobile payments before anybody else. The Seattle-based coffee shop chain disclosed some interesting figures to VentureBeat, concerning its mobile payment program, and, I must say, the numbers are impressive.

More than 42 million mobile payments have been processed at Starbucks locations in the US, Canada, and the UK, over the past 15 months. That’s an average of almost 3 million payments every month, but, considering the fact that in December 2011 the total figure was 26 million mobile payments, we get the picture of a service that is growing by the day.

For those of you who haven’t yet paid for a freshly ground cup of Starbucks coffee using a mobile phone, here’s the skinny. After downloading the Starbucks for Android app found at this link (free of charge, of course), you need to load money onto a digital Starbucks Card, and then present a 2D barcode to pay at the register. The code is scanned by your barista, and, boom, your check is taken care of in a matter of seconds! The mobile payment service is available on drive-thru windows as well.

It seems that the guys at Starbucks are poised to take things to the next level with their mobile payments program. “You’re going to see us as a company that will push the envelope around mobile pay. We want to innovate in that area before others catch up.” Starbucks’ chief digital officer, Adam Brotman, told VentureBeat, leaving me wonder about the innovations the coffee company might be working towards.

So, how about it, coffee lovers? (we have a nice list of best apps for coffee lovers, by the way) Have you used Starbucks’ innovative mobile payment service until now? And if so, is it actually as easy to use and convenient as it sounds? Also, do you think that there’s any more room for innovation in this area? Hit us back with a comment and please let us know!