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Starbucks’s mobile payments app has more users than Apple or Google

According to new data from research firm eMarketer, by the end of this year, a quarter of US smartphone users — 55 million people to date — over the age of 14 will make an in-store mobile payment. More than 40% of those people will do it through Starbucks’s mobile payments app.

The Starbucks app, which launched before the other three top payments apps — Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay — has long been the most successful payments app. It’s likely going to maintain that lead over the next few years.

The Starbucks app lets users pay with their phones and earn credits toward future purchases. That usage is significant: Starbucks said its mobile order-and-pay system accounted for 12% of all US transactions in the quarter ended April 1.

US in Store mobile payment app users

By year’s end, Starbucks will have 23.4 million users in the US who have made an in-store mobile payment in the previous six months, according to eMarketer’s estimates. That number is higher than the 14.9 million customers who are part of Starbucks’s rewards program, which only counts monthly active users; customers also don’t have to be rewards members to make purchases using the app.

The app’s popularity could be credited to its early adoption, easy use and a loyal customer base that has been incentivized by a robust rewards program, according to eMarketer.

Apple Pay is accepted at more than half of US merchants. Google Pay is less popular despite being preinstalled on Android phones. Samsung is the most widely accepted — about 80% of merchants have it — but it’s the least popular.

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