Industry News | August 8, 2012

Starbucks to Offer Square Payment System in U.S. Stores

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Starbucks Coffee Company, with its leading mobile payment platform, and Square, the company revolutionizing everyday transactions between buyers and sellers, announced a broad innovative partnership to bring the best possible payment experience to both sides of the Starbucks counter.

The partnership terms include:

  • Customers will be able to use Pay with Square, Square’s payer application, at participating company-operated U.S. Starbucks stores later this fall, and they can also find nearby Starbucks locations within the Square Directory.
  • Square will process Starbucks’ U.S. credit and debit card transactions, which will significantly expand Square’s scale and accelerate the benefits to businesses on the Square platform, especially small businesses, while reducing Starbucks payment processing costs.
  • Using Square Directory, Starbucks customers will be able to discover local Square businesses—from specialty retailers to crafts businesses—within a variety of Starbucks digital platforms, including the Starbucks Digital Network and eventually the Starbucks mobile payment application.
  • Starbucks will invest $25 million in Square as part of the company’s Series D financing round.
  • Starbucks Chairman, President, and CEO Howard Schultz will join Square’s Board of Directors.

By accepting Pay with Square, Starbucks is giving millions of customers another way to enjoy a quick and seamless payment experience at approximately 7,000 Starbucks stores. The partnership will also accelerate the ability of small businesses to grow with Square’s innovative technology and a stronger and more widely available Square network.

“As the largest retail mobile payment platform in the U.S., we’re excited and proud to accept payments with Square,” Schultz says. “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,” he says, “and together we can bring the best possible payment experience to Starbucks customers.”

Jack Dorsey, cofounder and CEO of Square, says, “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.”

Beginning this fall, in addition to the existing iPhone and Android Starbucks mobile payment applications, Starbucks customers will be able to use Pay with Square to pay for their purchases at participating company-operated Starbucks locations in the U.S. Customers simply need to download the Pay with Square application and set up an account on their iPhone or Android device.

More than two-thirds of the 27 million small businesses in the U.S. currently do not accept credit or debit cards, in large part because of the expensive interchange fees associated with payment processing, cumbersome application processes, and required credit checks. Square enables merchants of any size—from sole proprietors to national retailers—to accept credit and debit cards.

“As an entrepreneur, I understand how critical it is for new businesses to have easy and affordable access to card processing while also giving customers a choice in how they pay,” Schultz says.

“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,” he continues. “This development can play a vital role in spurring small business growth and hiring, which remains one of our country’s most important issues.”