Square, Starbucks Team Up To Make Mobile Payments Even Easier

Kim LaCapria - Author

Jun. 15 2013, Updated 9:16 p.m. ET

Credit-card mobile payment processing service Square is getting in bed with Starbucks, already a leader in the space of accepting mobile payments.

On the Square-Starbucks partnership, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz refers to a changing landscape of consumerism due to the advent of social media and the adoption of the SmartPhone as a buying tool. And, indeed, the company is certainly way ahead in this regard.

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For instance, even before the Square partnership, I purchased a Facebook gift card for my co-worker James. Rather than requiring a stamp, the transaction was digitally impressive and swift. I left it on his Facebook wall, and, the next day, all he had to do was swipe his iPhone to magically get some Frappuccinos. I didn’t even have to uncomfortably fill in a greeting in pen on an actual card. (Though rumor has it that no one is allowed to use swears in Starbucks e-gift greetings, which is not something I found out adding a message.)

But with Square, Starbucks is going even deeper into the mobile transactions and outreach realm, as Schultz explains:

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“The evolving social and digital media platforms and highly innovative and relevant payment capabilities are causing seismic changes in consumer behavior and creating equally disruptive opportunities for business… Both Starbucks and Square take a similar approach when building products and running our businesses, and together we can bring the best possible payment experience to Starbucks customers.”

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Square’s CEO, formerly of Twitter, Jack Dorsey says that, while the partnership is building new avenues to customer convenience for Starbucks, Square will enjoy an increased profile from the venture:

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“[Starbucks sees this as] an opportunity to extend and accelerate a model they grew up with: the idea that business is local and that community plays a vital role in job creation and economic vitality… When Starbucks builds the Square Directory into their apps and in-store Digital Network, it gives Square new visibility, driving more customers to opt-in to Square.”

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Square and Starbucks plan to begin getting their joint venture on this coming fall.


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