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Is Starbucks destined to become a bank?

Craig Lawrance


CL Aug 21

Ever rummaged through your things at home and uncovered a Starbucks prepaid card that you’d forgotten about?  Yes me too, and magnify this up a few million times and you can start to understand why Starbucks now have to account for all the balances across every Starbucks card worldwide.  As of their latest Q3 report to the stock market, Starbucks holds a total value of some unspent $1.628 billion US on its private label cards.

You could consider this either an asset or a liability, but Starbucks themselves consider it a free loan.  Could everyone show up tomorrow to demand all their coffee?  That would create one wired world for a couple of hours. It’s unlikely, but what Starbucks can do is shuffle the money around, invest in new premises, invest in their own growth, reduce their debts, create a larger company, without having to depend on other sources of external funding.

There have to be other organizations and merchants who operate a prepaid card, a private label card, etc. that has no affiliation with any of the card schemes, so are net of those card scheme costs.  Not a bad little business to be running on the side, is it?

How long will it be before Starbucks applies for a banking license, or an electronic money license?  They have to be at least considering their options for future growth.

Here at OmniPayments this doesn’t come as a surprise as we see payments industry broadening to cover all sorts of businesses we used to think of as anything but a bank. The history of OmniPayents has demonstrated how closely it tracks new and emerging players in payments helping them to develop new sources of revenue.”

Learn how you too can issue your own prepaid card with OmniPayments; OmniPayments can be that technology to help you achieve your own little war chest.