One of the most clichéd money saving myths is the “latte factor”—the idea being that if you stop shelling out for a latte every morning, your savings would add up over time. As a money saving technique, it probably doesn’t add up, but there is still a lot of money swirling around the latte market. Consider this: Americans have over $1 billion saved up for future Starbucks purchases at this moment.
According to MarketWatch, as of the first quarter of 2016, Starbucks customers had a combined $1.2 billion loaded onto Starbucks cards and the Starbucks mobile app. By comparison, that’s more than the collective deposits of some financial institutions like California Republic Bancorp ($1.01 billion), Mercantile Bank Corp ($680 million) and Discover Financial Services ($470 million).
Unsurprisingly, the coffee giant is still well behind the top bank on the list: Bank of America Corp which somehow has its hands on $427.19 billion in deposits. Still, $1.2 billion invested in what are essentially prepaid gift cards isn’t chump change for the ‘Bucks (pun intended). Think of it this way: If you divided that money up among every American, each person in the US would have $3.76 on a Starbucks card – or about enough for a Grande Latte.
However, the number does make a bit more sense once you hear this stat: Reportedly 41 percent of Starbucks transactions in the US and Canada involved the use of a Starbucks card. Sounds like more companies should start accepting Starbucks cards. Or maybe the US can just scrap cash all together and give us all our own government-issued Starbucks card. It would finally end the controversy of only men appearing on US currency: They would all be replaced with a mermaid.