(Mashable) -- Starbucks customers apparently are finding buying via mobile as addictive as the company's coffee.
Less than a year after Starbucks launched an app that allows mobile payments, it has hosted 26 million such transactions on iOS, BlackBerry and Android, according to the chain. One in four Starbucks card transactions is now executed via mobile.
The mobile-payments initiative has built momentum recently: In the nine weeks after it was released, there were 3 million transactions. But in the past nine weeks, there have been 6 million, says Adam Brotman, SVP and general manager of Starbucks. He adds that New York, Seattle, San Francisco, Chicago and San Jose, California, are the top cities by volume for mobile purchases.
Brotman declined to say exactly how many people had downloaded the app, except that it's in the "millions."
Starbucks presented the stats to emphasize its contention that 2011 was the "year of mobile" for the company. Among other recent highlights was the company's Cup Magic augmented reality app, which has spurred 450,000 "engagement points" since its November release. An engagement point refers to a use of the app. According to Brotman, 91% of people who downloaded the app used it.
Finally, $110 million has been reloaded to customers' Starbucks cards via mobile, Brotman says. For comparison's sake, $2.4 billion was loaded onto Starbucks cards overall in 2011.
When asked why mobile payments seem to have caught on at Starbucks, Brotman said he thought convenience was a major factor. "It's a faster, easier way to pay," he said. "We not only developed the feature, but we also rolled out scanners in our locations."
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