Howard Shultz, Chairman of Starbucks stated that the coffee chain plans to adopt blockchain technology and virtual currencies into its long-term payment technology policy. The Starbucks Chairman also hopes to “expand digital customer relationships.”
However, Shultz does not believe that Bitcoin will play a role in this strategy. He said that he didn’t believe the novel cryptocurrency would “be a currency today or in the future.”
He explained that Starbucks is not creating a digital currency or even announcing an investment in blockchain or cryptocurrencies. Shultz would, however, like to use its stature to lend credibility to these technologies.
Shultz made the statements in the company’s quarterly investor call, which were consequently reported by diginomica.
According to the report, he stated:
“I believe that we are heading into a new age, in which blockchain technology is going to provide a significant level of a digital currency that is going to have a consumer application.”
He added that Starbucks is uniquely positioned to take advantage of the changes.
“We think we have something to offer the companies that are chasing this, because we are in a position to create the trusted legitimate place in which this could be accepted and possibly take advantage of the mobile payment digital platform that we have created.”
The payment platform the Starbucks chairman mentioned is the Starbucks’ mobile payment app which was launched in 2015. This payment app enables customers to pay and order in-app, while accumulating rewards.
Mobile payments constitute almost a quarter of Starbucks’ U.S. transactions. As a result, Shultz said Starbucks is considering opening cashless stores in the U.S.
Starbucks is known for of adopting cutting-edge payment solutions. In the autumn of 2012, it adopted Square as the exclusive processor of all of its debit and credit card transactions, though the partnership later dissolved.