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Starbucks mobile payment app more popular than Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay

Starbucks will remain the most popular proximity mobile payment app, staying ahead of Apple Pay and other competitors, according to eMarketer’s latest forecast on U.S. proximity mobile payments.

This year, 23.4 million people ages 14 and over will use the Starbucks app to make a point-of-sale purchase at least once every six months. That puts it slightly ahead of the 22 million people who will use Apple Pay. Google Pay (11.1 million users) and Samsung Pay (9.9 million) will round out the top four payment apps, according to eMarketer. The ranking will remain unchanged through 2022, adds the research group.

Apple Pay has the second-highest adoption rate, having launched before the Google and Samsung apps, and is currently accepted at more than half of U.S.  merchants. Competition is intensifying, however. eMarketer says that, while each of the top four apps will continue to gain users in the US throughout the forecast period, their share of mobile payment users will continue to drop. That can mainly be attributed to new payment apps entering the market, particularly merchant-branded mobile apps, per the research group.

“Retailers are increasingly creating their own payment apps, which allow them to capture valuable data about their users. They can also build in rewards and perks to boost customer loyalty,” says eMarketer forecasting analyst Cindy Liu. 

Overall, the number of US proximity mobile payment users will grow 14.5% this year to reach 55.0 million. In 2018, for the first time, more than 25% of US smartphone users ages 14 and older will make a proximity mobile payment at least once every six months.

eMarketer’s forecasts and estimates are based on an analysis of quantitative and qualitative data from research firms, government agencies, media firms and public companies, plus interviews with top executives at publishers, ad buyers and agencies. Data is weighted based on “methodology and soundness.”


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the authorDennis Sellers
Dennis Sellers is the editor/publisher of Apple World Today. He’s been an “Apple journalist” since 1995 (starting with the first big Apple news site, MacCentral). He loves to read, run, play sports, and watch movies.
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