Slideshow In Pictures: Starbucks' Shifting Strategy in Payments

  • January 23 2015, 2:22pm EST
8 Images Total

Starbucks, which handles 16% of its in-store sales as mobile payments, is looking to push that number even higher. Its evolving strategy combines its mobile app, its gift card and its rewards program into a powerful package. (Image: Bloomberg News)

Talent at the Top

Starbucks has hired Kevin Johnson (pictured), former CEO of Juniper Networks and a former Microsoft exec, as its new COO. Starbucks CEO praised Johnson's "mobile and digital expertise" when announcing the appointment, a sign that the coffee chain is now laser-focused on mobile technology.

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C-Suite Shuffle

The COO position at Starbucks is only a year old. It was created to take on some of the responsibilities previously handled by CEO Howard Schultz (pictured). Under the new management structure, Schultz has more time to devote to the company's efforts in mobile payments. (Image: Bloomberg News)

Filling Up on Features

Starbucks' latest mobile initiative is an order-ahead function being tested in 150 stores in Portland, Ore. The company will soon expand this to 600 stores in the Pacific Northwest U.S. before bringing the system nationwide.

Dual Delivery System

In conjunction with its mobile ordering system, Starbucks is planning to deliver its products through a process that combines its staff of baristas and a third-party service. (Image: Bloomberg News)

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Gift Cards Go Big

The Starbucks mobile payment system is built on top of its gift card system — and Starbucks is pushing hard to expand its cards. In 2014, one in seven Americans received a Starbucks gift card as a holiday gift (up from one in eight a year earlier).

Revving Up Rewards

The My Starbucks Rewards program is tied closely to both the company's gift card program and its mobile app. The success of any one of these products drives the success of the others. "We know that increased Starbucks Card sales drives My Starbucks Rewards membership and, in turn, traffic in our stores," CEO Howard Schultz said. (Image: iStock)

Good Time for a Break

The hiring of Starbucks' new COO coincides with the planned yearlong "coffee break" of the man currently holding the job, Troy Alstead (pictured). Observers say this is actually a good sign for Starbucks' mobile-pay ambitions, since Alstead might not have been allowed to go on sabbatical if the company's projects were encountering trouble.