Here’s something that would keep me awake at night, if I worked for a big merchant, like Walmart or Tim Hortons.
Starbucks apps account for 42M mobile payments. For Starbucks, mobile pay is one of ten core digital businesses that the coffee conglomerate attributes to enhancing its relationship with customers.
Pay with Square app and your credit card gets charged. This fall, Starbucks will begin accepting payments through Square’s mobile app. Customers will be able to pay for their lattes by holding up their phone and allowing Starbucks to automatically charge the customer’s card on the back end. In the not too distant future, Square and Starbucks plan to let customers use the Pay With Square app, which stores credit card numbers and other financial data, and a name. The system uses the phone’s GPS to detect that you’ve walked into a Square‐enabled retailer. The store’s checkout software then automatically connects with your Square app.
“You can actually walk into a merchant, keep your phone in pocket, keep your wallet in your pocket, and a picture of you pops up on the register,” Square’s CEO Dorsey says. “You can just say ’I'm Laurie, and I’d like a cappuccino,’ and your card is charged in the background.”
There’s a land grab happening right now in the mobile payments space, with PayPal, Google Wallet, startups and credit card companies experimenting with apps to reinvent mobile payments and enhance customer experience – of all new experiments, Square’s approach seems to be the most promising, user‐centric and revolutionary. Other big brands will come knocking on doors soon.
Reinvention of payments is just one example of innovative, disruptive zero‐gravity thinking that is sorely needed in times of great change. Starbucks example shows how one brand’s willingness to innovate, run pilot projects and experiments, test things out, and being aware of how major changes and other players in the market may impact the industry for years to come.
Oh, by the way, who is this Jack Dorsey guy again?