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The Seattle Times reports that Starbucks loaded "an unprecedented $1.3 billion on its prepaid cards in the United States and Canada" during the last three months of 2013. According to the story, "The cards amount to a big advance payment to the company, and generally account for about a quarter of Starbucks sales in U.S. stores."

Without getting specific, Starbucks said the number is a "significant increase" from the same period of 2012, and $610 million of the total - or almost half - represented new card activations.
KC's View:
I think I may be most impressed by the number of new cards. At some level, you'd think that Starbucks is a maturing business … but then you see the degree to which new prepaid card activations is driving sales.

BTW … don't minimize the degree to which the Starbucks app, which allows people to use the prepaid card from their smart phones, is part of the equation. I'm amazed how many people I see at Starbucks whipping out their phones to pay for their coffee. Me included.