Seattle -- Mobile payments took another step forward with the announcement that Starbucks Coffee Co. has entered into a partnership with Square, a mobile-payment start-up. Starbucks will invest $25 million in Square -- part of the latest round of financing -- and Starbucks chairman, president and CEO Howard Schultz will join Square’s board of directors. Square was founded in 2009 by Jack Dorsey, creator of Twitter.
Starbucks Corp. will be the first national retailer to let customers pay with Square's mobile payment application, whose users, to date, have been mostly small businesses.
The retailer said that beginning this fall, in addition to its existing mobile payment application it has rolled out, customers will be able to use Square’s Pay with Square to pay for their purchases. To use either of the programs, customers download the apps, then link a credit or debit card to the account. To pay at the register, they open the app and wave their phone in front of the scanner.
The Starbucks app can only be used at the company's cafes and customers earn rewards when using it. But the Square app can be used wherever it is accepted. It shows users nearby businesses that accept Square payments.
“As the largest retail mobile payment platform in the U.S., we’re excited and proud to accept payments with Square,” said Howard Schultz, Starbucks chairman, president and CEO. “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.”