Starbucks stores now selling Square mobile card reader
Two months after Starbucks began allowing consumers to pay for purchases via the Square Wallet application for iOS and Android, the coffee chain is now offering the Square Card Reader for sale across its 7,000 U.S. brick-and-mortar locations.
"We have a lot of small business owners who do business in our stores," a Starbucks spokesperson told Adweek. "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."
Square Card Reader enables businesses to swipe credit and debit cards through a dongle plugged into a smartphone or tablet audio jack. Square charges a flat fee of 2.75 percent on all purchases, lower than conventional credit and debit card transactions, and promises no contracts, monthly fees or hidden costs. Starbucks is offering the Square reader for $10, with a $10 rebate offered at signup.
Starbucks first announced its intention to adopt Square services in August, a move to slash operational costs across its retail footprint. The Square Wallet app links to a consumer's debit or credit card to process transactions--the app generates a QR code scanned by a Starbucks digital reader terminal, and automatically transmits a digital receipt when the purchase is complete. Square Wallet also offers access to Starbucks menu information, store hours and locations and the user's transaction history.
With the addition of Starbucks stores, the Square Card Reader is now available for purchase in 30,000 retail locations nationwide. Additional brick-and-mortar partners include Walmart, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Target, Walgreens, AT&T (NYSE:T), Best Buy and Staples.
Square now processes $10 billion in annual mobile payment transactions. More than 2 billion U.S. businesses and individuals now use its services. In Sept. 2012, Square closed a Series D financing round led by investors including Citi Ventures and Rizvi Traverse Management; The New York Times reported the round totals about $200 million, valuing the startup at $3.25 billion.
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