Starbucks Sells Square Card Readers to Boost Small Business (Jan. 4, 2013)
Jan. 4, 2013
Customers now can purchase a Square mobile payment card reader along with their venti Caffè lattes and blueberry scones at all of Starbucks’ 7,000 company-operated stores in the United States. Square enables anyone with an iPhone, iPad or Android device to accept credit and debit cards with its card reader that plugs into the device’s headphone jack. In Starbucks stores, Square’s card readers sell for $10, with a $10 rebate for new users upon sign-up.
The deal expands a processing and investing partnership the two companies announced in August of last year in which Square processes Starbucks’ credit and debit card transactions and customers are able to use Square’s Pay with Square iPhone or Android app at company-operated Starbucks stores. Starbucks also invested $25 million in Square’s Series D financing round, and CEO Howard Schultz joined Square’s board of directors.
Perhaps selling a POS dongle along with coffee and crullers might seem a bit incongruous; Starbucks says not so. “Starbucks is a gathering place for small businesses, and this is a small but important way for us to help fuel small-business growth,” a Starbucks company spokesperson tells Paybefore. “It is also a testament to our strong support and admiration of Square and what they do for small businesses.”
Several other companies have launched mobile card readers, including Brookfield, Wis.-based Fiserv Inc.; Chicago-based Groupon Inc.; PayPal Inc.; Austin, Texas-based Rêv Worldwide; Intuit Inc., the Mountain View, Calif.-based maker of QuickBooks accounting software; Richmond, Va.-based Bank of America Merchant Services; Boston-based SCVNGR’s LevelUp; San Francisco Bay-area-based Marqeta; U.K.-based mPowa and O2; Stockholm-based iZettle and startups payworks, payleven and SumUp.