While banks and telcos continue to tread gingerly in the mobile payments space, trailblazers like Starbucks and PayPal are reporting massive surges in transaction volumes.
Starbucks says it has now processed more than 20 million mobile payment transactions since it rolled out its pay-by-mobile application nationwide in January.
The company, which has moved beyond the iPhone to offer mobile payments on Android and BlackBerry devices in 9000 stores nationwide, says it is experiencing sequential month-on-month increases in customer adoption and volume.
Speaking at an earnings conference call on Thursday, Starbucks chief Howard Schultz, commented: "At the end of September there was almost 1 million smartphones with at least one registered Starbucks Card associated with it and both the number and value of mobile transactions is on the rise."
Similar uplifts are being reported by PayPal, which has repeatedly raised its projections for mobile processing during the course of the year, and now expects to see $3.5 billion in mobile payment volume in 2011. The company, which opened its first pop-up store in Manhattan this week to showcase its options for high street retailers, says it is now processing more than $10,000 per minute in mobile payments.
These numbers are expected to surge over the holiday season, as US consumers reach for their smartphones over Thanksgiving and indulge in a spot of "couch commerce".