Starbucks seems to be smitten with Twitter and Square founder and chairman Jack Dorsey. The companies recently announce that Starbucks customers will have the opportunity to purchase Square’s Mobile Card Readers in-house at 7,000 locations nationwide. Although the readers cost $10, if a potential purchaser is a new merchant or individual who signs up for Square’s services they will receive $10 back.
Founded in 2009, Square goal is to make commerce easy for everyone. Square’s Mobile Card Reader serves as a full point-of-sale system for businesses to accept payments, track inventory, and share menu and location information. This can be done anytime, anywhere as long as business owners commit to certain rates. To see rate information please click here.
Square already competes on a highly competitive arena. The mobile payment processing industry, arguably still somewhat in its infancy, is an extremely lucrative and growing field, attracting companies from the group buying industry, such as nationally-known Groupon with Groupon Payments, all the way to the merchant service processing industry, such as Michigan-Based North American Bancard with the PayAnywhere app and card reader.
Starbucks, which has been a major investor of Square, has put around $25 million dollars into the point-of-sale startup since 2012. The companies have been working together since then to extend Square’s reach across the United States.
In November of last year, Starbucks announced that it would now welcome Square’s mobile payments at 7,000 locations across the country. In addition, customers are encourages to make payments using Square’s application “Square Wallet”.
Square Wallet enables payment at businesses who accept the application. The payment app requires the input of credit card information and allows users to utilize hands free checkout, with just the speech of their own name. In addition to Starbucks, Square Wallet can be used by consumers in locations for Walmart, Apple, Target, Walgreens, FedEx Office, AT&T, Best Buy, Staples and Radio Shack.
“We have a lot of small business owners who do business in our stores. So we wanted to offer them the reader for their business needs. And it just seemed like a good natural next step in our relationship with Square,” a Starbucks spokesperson told Adweek recently.
According to CNet, In November, Square released a statement announcing that the company was processing $10 billion in annualized transactions. Just two months prior, the company had passed the $8 billion mark, and a year earlier, it was processing $2 billion on an annualized basis.
2013 poses to be a big year for Square and Starbucks seems to have every intention to become a part of that growth. In an interview with CNET last year, Square COO Keith Rabois said that “expanding the Square-Starbucks relationship is definitely a major initiative,” and that “we’re only in the first inning” of that relationship.