In an unprecedented move by a major US retailer, Starbucks Coffee Company announced this morning that it's partnering with tech startup Square to process credit and debit card transactions. The NY Times article goes on to say that "eventually customers will be able to order… and charge it to their credit cards by simply saying their names."
This is groundbreaking in the field of electronic payment processing and could be an indicator that near-field communication payment systems are about to explode. Apple, Inc. will soon be introducing a similar product in iOS 6, allowing tickets and loyalty cards to be accessed and used without unlocking an iPhone.
I've been a long time user of Square to receive payments from clients for freelance work I do, however, I've always felt the Square Payments application was a bit lacking. It's not a widely accepted payment method among consumers and that is the number one barrier to Square's mainstream success.
Even though Square’s app has been well reviewed, it has not caught on with shoppers, which has been Square’s biggest challenge as it tries to expand. That is in large part because of the limited number of merchants that accept payments that way. Most of Square’s users are small businesses, like farm stands or cafes that also use Square’s credit card reader.
Personally, I'll be looking forward to using the new payment method over the coming months.