Starbuck Supporting Square Wallet Starting this NovemberWell, this could make my daily coffee easier. Starbucks has announced that it will be supporting Square Wallet starting early this November in 7,000 of its stores. In addition, Starbucks will be investing $25 million into Square to help flesh out the product and reduce the company's processing fees.
For those not in the know, Square Wallet is an app from Square--the same company that created those miniature credit card processing phone accessories that have taken the world by storm-that lets you pay for things without ever having to take out a credit card, wallet, or even a phone. The app ties your credit card to a virtual tab. Whenever you go somewhere that supports it, just tap to sign in to that site. The cashier gets a photo of your face, your name, and the ability to charge your purchase to your card. You just go up, say your name, and walk away from your food. Making it even more interesting is that Square also built in GPS functionality, allowing you to sign in any time you are near a place that supports it. That way, you never even have to take out your phone.
This news follows Starbucks also announcing support for Apple's Passbook, which is Apple's solution to the same problem. Between the two apps, Starbucks should make paying for a cup of coffee a cinch, and I have to give them credit for being willing to try new technology.
At launch, tipping will not be supported, meaning that people who use these technologies probably won't be liked by the barristers. But later Starbucks will be launching their own app to bring this functionality back, a short-term solution until these apps support tipping.
The mobile payments game is heating up, and so far there isn't a clear winner. It will be interesting to see which technology reigns supreme 5 years from now.