Starbucks Canada: The Mobile Payments Decision
(10 pages of text)
In December 2012, the management of Starbucks Canada, an autonomous subsidiary of the U.S.-based multinational coffeehouse chain, is trying to decide how best to implement mobile payments in its 1,350 locations across Canada. While the company has currently been using a mobile application to accept payments through its proprietary Starbucks Card, rival Tim Hortons has recently introduced a more advanced mobile payment solution. There are many new and emerging technologies to choose from, including Square Wallet, Bluetooth Low Energy Beacons, MintChip and Mobile Wallet/Credit Card Near Field Communication. Will these systems allow for an enhanced store experience? Are customers ready to start paying with their smartphones? And which payment service will be the Canadian lead going forward? The future of Starbucks and mobile payments is exciting, but the choices are almost overwhelming.
This case can be taught at the undergraduate or MBA level. Its objectives are:
- To introduce the complex challenges of mobile payment solutions, in particular the necessary technologies, the providers and the user adoption issues that confront companies seeking to implement mobile payments as an option.
- To consider the current landscape of mobile payment options and formulate a technology strategy in the face of an emergent marketplace, considering the risks of path dependent decision-making when standards are not fully formed against the risks of failing to innovate.
Accommodation & Food Services
Canada, Large, 2013
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