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Can Starbucks Teach Facebook And Apple A Thing Or 2 About Mobile Payments?

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Can Starbucks Teach Facebook And Apple A Thing Or 2 About Mobile Payments?
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A recent survey painted a poor picture for Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL)'s mobile payment system, Apple Pay, as only 20 percent of survey respondents indicated they had used Apple Pay at least once. Naturally, Facebook Inc (NASDAQ: FB) is paying close attention to Apple's successes and failures ahead of its own anticipated mobile payment system, if recent reports hold true that the company is looking to enter the space.

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Learning From Cuppa Joe

However, if Facebook is taking lessons from Apple, it is looking in the wrong direction. In fact, both Facebook and Apple should be taking a close look at Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ: SBUX).

According to Bloomberg's Shire Ovide, Starbucks, not Apple, is "the only U.S. company that has cracked mobile payments," as 21 percent of all transactions in its company-owned locations are mobile generated.

Ovide noted that Starbucks' record is even more impressive when considering the fact that only 2.1 percent of all U.S. retail sales last year originated from a mobile device.

So, what lessons can Apple and Facebook learn from Starbucks? For starters, "bribery works," as Starbucks' consumers are bribed with goodies like free coffee after using the mobile app payment often enough. Apple could similarly bribe its users with a free Apple Pay credit or iTunes song download for a certain amount of purchases made through its system.

"That would persuade a lot of newbies to try Apple Pay and then use it repeatedly," Ovide wrote.

Image Credit: Public Domain

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