Starbucks has announced that it is rolling out its new smart phone payment system — powered by Square technology — at its 7,000-plus U.S. stores beginning early next month.
Compatible with most iOS (iPhone) and Android smart phones, Square Wallet is designed to allow customers to make card-free transactions by simply saying their name to merchants. GPS services determine whether the name matches the name of the phone-holder’s location. The free Square Wallet app also allows consumers to find participating locations nearby.
Starbucks is investing $25 million into the Square company in the partnership, and Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz has joined Square’s Board of Directors. The two company’s announced the partnership in August.
In an announcement leading up to Starbucks’ annual three-day Global Leadership Conference in Houston, the company also said it plans to enable digital tipping on its existing mobile payment applications, and that digital tipping through Square Wallet should be enabled by next summer.
This move responds to the question, “Why do baristas hate smartphone payment apps?”