Starbucks' investments in its mobile application have paid off: According to the MIT Technology Review, the coffee giant — which is especially beloved on the West Coast — "has emerged as the runaway leader in mobile payments at retail stores."
Currently, over 12 million people use their phone to pay for their Starbucks lattes. The chain claims that in 2013, of the $1.6 billion Americans spent via their smartphones, 90 percent went to Starbucks. MIT confirms that many payment experts agree with that staggering figure. Starbucks' mobile wallet — which works like a reloadable gift card — now accounts for nearly 16 percent of the chains' 47 million weekly transactions. This means that nearly 7.5 million purchases are made each week via the app.
That figure is only likely to increase. Starbucks announced in October that it is adding an order ahead system to its app. This means customers will be able to place orders and pay for their purchases "in advance of their visit." Then they can pick up the drinks at a Starbucks location of their choice. The chain already released the feature in Portland, Oregon and plans to roll it out nationally this year.