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Adam Brotman

America's coffeehouse also boasts retail's largest and most popular way to pay via smartphone. The Starbucks app (free) serves as a virtual Starbucks card. Customers put cash on it, the barista scans your phone instead of handling cash or plastic, and folks get through the store faster. Coffee hounds used the app to make 42 million mobile payments through March, with usage growing "week over week, month over month, and quarter over quarter,” Adam Brotman says. Most impressively, he did this without a convoluted new technology (cough, MasterCard PayPass, cough) or unproven system (cough, using PayPal in the real world, cough). "We realized we could innovate by just combining some things that were in front of us."