Starbucks gets mobile with Square deal
13 August, 2012
Starbucks has taken another step towards mobile-based payment by signing a partnership deal with transactions agency Square.
The tie-up will allow customers in the US to start paying for drinks and food at Starbucks via Square’s ‘Pay with Square’ application from this autumn. Square will also start to process Starbucks’ debit and card payments, and offer up to customers its ‘Square Directory’ of businesses on the Square network.
Starbucks chairman, president and CEO Howard Schultz will join Square’s board, and his company will make a $25m (£16m) investment. There is no word yet on whether Starbucks will roll out the payment system beyond the US—though it seems likely in due course.
Starbucks says the move will make payment easier and quicker for customers. Schultz said of the deal: “As the largest retail mobile payment platform in the U.S., we’re excited and proud to accept payments with Square. 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.”
The partnership is also a significant development in the migration towards mobile-based payment systems for the industry as a whole, as it opens up new opportunities for other companies, mostly small, who are currently unable or unwilling to accept payment via cards or invest in till technology. Schultz added: “Because Square's revolutionary technology allows anyone to accept credit and debit cards, it gives entrepreneurs an essential tool to jump-start their business while providing existing small companies access to new customers. This development can play a vital role in spurring small business growth and hiring, which remains one of our country’s most important issues.”
Square co-founder and CEO Jack Dorsey said: “We’re proud that Starbucks chose Square, as we share the value of always putting customers first. More than 2 million individuals and businesses can already use Square. This partnership will accelerate our ability to provide them with the tools they need to grow their business and thrive in today’s economy.”