Starbucks tests cashless store

Image courtesy of Starbucks
To better understand how digital and credit card payments affect customer behavior and experience, coffee retailer Starbucks is rolling out a cashless test location in Seattle.

“Thirty percent of our payments in the United States [are] done with a mobile phone,” Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson tells CNBC.

Starbucks now has over 14 million customers enrolled in its Starbucks Rewards program, which allows them to pay and order items with their mobile devices. The company says it added 1.4 million Starbucks Rewards members in the U.S. in the last quarter alone.

The potential pivot to a cashless model is part of a larger trend developing among retailers. Amazon has already experimented with this in Seattle, as its Amazon Go store there has all purchases billed to customer’s Amazon accounts. Food retailers like Shake Shack are also looking into these digital innovations.

This trend could eventually make its way to smaller businesses, as cashless stores may be the future of retail.