As of today, you can purchase your favorite Starbucks drink or pastry using Square, the mobile wallet app that links your smartphone to your credit or debit card account. For this rollout, which is scheduled to take place at more than 7,000 stores across the US, choosing a store in the app brings up a QR code that you scan at the register.
What’s the Big Idea?
Starbucks has its own app, but it works more like a rechargeable gift card; Square eliminates the extra step involved in “filling up.” For this reason, writer Marcus Wohlsen believes this particular collaboration may be the thing that finally brings mobile payments into the mainstream. “Because [Starbucks] stores are everywhere, [it] vaults Square from fetish object of geeks in San Francisco and Brooklyn to ubiquitous utility for everyone. As Square becomes widespread, it will start to become mundane…the best technology is the technology that disappears.” Starbucks isn’t even doing a big marketing push; its plan is to just “let it trickle into awareness via social and traditional media.”
If all of the spending cuts and revenue increases that make up the fiscal cliff go into effect, it would represent an estimated $720 billion in total austerity measures for 2013. Who is ready to stomach that?