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The Almighty Buck Businesses Cellphones

Starbucks Partners With Square 145

Posted by Soulskill
from the physical-wallet-death-clock-just-ticked dept.
Square, the start-up mobile payment service that aims to bring credit card transactions to anyone with a smartphone, has formed a partnership with Starbucks, a move that vastly increases Square's reach and visibility. According to the NY Times, "This fall, Square will begin processing all credit and debit card transactions at Starbucks stores in the United States and eventually customers will be able to order a grande vanilla latte and charge it to their credit cards simply by saying their names. Though smartphone payments have a long way to go before they replace wallets altogether, Starbucks’s adoption of Square will catapult the start-up’s technology onto street corners nationwide, and is the clearest sign yet that mobile payments could become mainstream. ... At first, Starbucks customers will need to show the merchant a bar code on their phones. But when Starbucks uses Square’s full GPS technology, the customer’s phone will automatically notify the store that the customer has entered, and the customer’s name and photo will pop up on the cashier’s screen. The customer will give the merchant his or her name, Starbucks will match the photo and the payment will be complete."
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Starbucks Partners With Square

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  • by Hazel Bergeron (2015538) on Wednesday August 08, 2012 @08:16AM (#40916771) Journal

    Mediocrity loves company.

    • tell me more about this mediocre coffee that has stores across the nation

      • by Nimloth (704789) on Wednesday August 08, 2012 @08:50AM (#40916937)
        Dunkin Donuts?
      • by cupantae (1304123) <.maroneill. .at. .gmail.com.> on Wednesday August 08, 2012 @08:56AM (#40916987)

        ...because everyone knows that the best things are the most popular. Don't you just love Rihanna, Justin Bieber, Beyoncé...

        • by Anonymous Coward

          Oh for the love of god, it's a place that sells coffee and coffee-like drinks. They obviously do a better-than-average job at it.

          Are we really going to go all hipster-douche, arguing over whether or not it's not the finest, orgasm-inducing, flavored water on earth?

          • by the phantom (107624) on Wednesday August 08, 2012 @09:35AM (#40917325) Homepage
            By your logic, McDonalds makes an obviously-better-than-average burger, Taco Bell serves an obviously-better-than-average taco, and Pabst Blue Ribbon is an obviously-better-than-average beer.
            • by TaoPhoenix (980487) <TaoPhoenix@yahoo.com> on Wednesday August 08, 2012 @10:00AM (#40917575) Journal

              You tried to snark, but you lose.

              McDonald's, through their (insert three adverbs here) ____ ____ ____ processes, produce fries that give the best in the country a run for the money *if you time the batch cycles right*. That is, you watch the current batch of fries, wait until they burn on 4 customers, and maneuver your way to the first of the new batch. Beats EVERY TIME the nasty "home fries" that the indie restaurants seem to think taste good.

              Taco Bell that you tried to hate on, has an even stronger case. You can't get out of a standard mexican restaurant under $15. (remember tips?) They have SEVEN of the best low cost meals I have ever had at fast food outlets. (Five if you count the Non-KFC Co-branded ones.)

              What these lowballer corps do is force everyone else to offer something else besides price.

              • by RKThoadan (89437) on Wednesday August 08, 2012 @10:18AM (#40917763)

                Their fries are pretty good and their non-nugget chicken products are pretty decent as well. However, none of that excuses the horror of the substance which they refer to as "cheese". It's an insult to cheesemakers everywhere.

              • by colinnwn (677715) on Wednesday August 08, 2012 @10:33AM (#40917931)

                Taco Bell that you tried to hate on, has an even stronger case. You can't get out of a standard mexican restaurant under $15. (remember tips?) They have SEVEN of the best low cost meals I have ever had at fast food outlets.

                Taco Bell is not Mexican food. It is Tex-Mex inspired junk food. That's not to say I don't enjoy it on occasion, especially a green buritto and a MexiMelt. But there are at least 30 good Mexican restaurants in Dallas I can go to for under $15 (food, non alcoholic drink, tax and tip), many under even $10. And there isn't a single meal at Taco Bell I would consider one of my favorite low cost meals. Del Taco just opened in Dallas, and I personally like it better.

              • by timeOday (582209)
                McDonald's has sort of won me over too... I like their hot fudge sundae and for about $2.50 total I can get that, plus a 32 oz diet Dr. Pepper. Fountain drinks aren't always equally good everywhere, but IME theirs are consistently good. Subway for dinner then McDonalds for dessert and I am happy.
              • by Anonymous Coward

                "produce fries that give the best in the country a run for the money"

                I will accept this if you exclude fries made out of sweet potatoes from your comparison.

                You cannot beat sweet potato fries. This is very important.

                Otherwise, I'm fine with your post.

                If you haven't had sweet potato fries, do yourself a favor and acquire some. Then you will understand the occasion for my post.

              • by Anonymous Coward

                Taco Bell that you tried to hate on

                Just "hate". Not "hate on".

                Do you "love on" or "like on" things? No, of course you don't.

              • Regarding McDonalds fries, I suppose that is a matter of taste. I prefer a thicker cut fry. That still doesn't change the fact that the product that McDonalds is best known for---their bugers---are mediocre to terrible. As you rightly point out, McDonalds is not competing on quality, but on price and speed. There are many places where I could get a better burger (and better fries, too), but I am going to have to pay more or wait longer (or both).

                Regarding Taco Bell, you have once again made my point for

              • by Anonymous Coward

                McDonalds fries are processed food products poisoned with various toxic chemicals. None of these chemicals will drop you dead in your tracks, so ignorant people believe they are "good food" because the combination of fat and salt pushes the right neurons. The health issues that people get from eating at McDonalds has been well documented. Even a casual observer can see the people coming out of a McDonalds and tell there is something amiss. Many of these people are obese or misshapen or seem to have mobility

              • I think I can still get a 'better than average' fish taco at San Loco for $1.50. Beats the hell out of Taco Bell. I suspect your standards are pretty low. Oh, and home fries are not the same things as french fries.
            • Wow, guess we smashed that argument. Starbucks is awesome awesome, although they seemed to have fucked up their iced coffee. I found out about their iced coffee years before it became popular, but now it seems different. Maybe my addiction has ruined all the fun.

          • by icebraining (1313345) on Wednesday August 08, 2012 @10:01AM (#40917591) Homepage

            Yeah, but the average in the US is terrible. There's a reason why Starbucks isn't all that successful here in the Mediterranean countries, where good coffee is well established and cheap.

            • by MaWeiTao (908546)

              That may be the case in Europe, but in Asia, Starbucks is incredibly popular. I do have to admit, however, that walk into any Starbucks there and it's a near certainty that the place will be spotless and you'll get a good cup of coffee. Pathetically, the same cannot be said about a Starbucks in the US, even one situated in an upscale neighborhood.

          • by FacePlant (19134)

            Are we really going to go all hipster-douche, arguing over whether or not it's not the finest, orgasm-inducing, flavored water on earth?

            It sure looks that way.

            Cream and sugar?

        • by Anonymous Coward
          On the other hand, there are those who dismiss anything sufficiently popular as crap. In this particular instance, all these self-proclaimed coffee gourmands couldn't pick out a particular brand of coffee in a blind test. They think they can, but they're wrong.
          • by graphius (907855)

            I can't pick out coffee brands, because a lot of them are crap.
            My coffee of choice (when I am not home*) is an americano (espresso + hot water, for those that don't know) from a couple of independent coffee shops. Starbucks, like McDonalds with their hamburgers, are more concerned with consistency than flavour.

            *When at home I do have a couple of espresso machines, and, when I want more caffeine, a bodem. I grind my own beans that I buy from one of a few local roasters.

            • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

              by Anonymous Coward

              I can't pick out coffee brands, because a lot of them are crap. My coffee of choice (when I am not home*) is an americano (espresso + hot water, for those that don't know) from a couple of independent coffee shops. Starbucks, like McDonalds with their hamburgers, are more concerned with consistency than flavour.

              *When at home I do have a couple of espresso machines, and, when I want more caffeine, a bodem. I grind my own beans that I buy from one of a few local roasters.

              This is your defense in reply to a thread where someone asked if we're going to get all hipster-douche about it?

            • Ugh, Americano. Diluted crap for pansies ;)

        • I'd give Rihanna some love, does that count?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      I haven't used their cell phone payment system, but my business has been using Square for the past year, and we fucking love it. What do you hate about it?

      Also: yes, Starbucks coffee is shitty. They burn their beans to make a "distinctive" flavor.

  • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn.gmail@com> on Wednesday August 08, 2012 @08:16AM (#40916781) Journal
    "Uh, yeah, I'll have a double Crono frappuccino and a venti Cloud -- be sure to leave room for Chocobo."
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Was it just me who thought this would be about making sure Square-Enix developers stayed focused?

    • Yes... I thought maybe some coffee related RPGs were going to be produced like Latte Quest or Final Cappuccino.
      • by cupantae (1304123)

        I, on the other hand, imagined a revamped Starbucks menu system involving "junctioning" of customers' pets to improve coffee attributes such as size, caffeine, flavour and fairtradeness. Sadly, this is not the case.

    • by neminem (561346)

      I was just imagining Final Fantasy themed coffee drinks, a la these [wikipedia.org], only coffee. I was disappoint.

  • No cashier needed (Score:5, Interesting)

    by davide marney (231845) <<gro.aidemten> <ta> <yenram.edivad>> on Wednesday August 08, 2012 @08:30AM (#40916857) Journal
    If they can track customers as they walk in the door, why even have a line at the cashier? You walk in the door, you get a push notification to confirm or change your standing order on your phone, and then you take a seat. Once your drink is ready, you get another notification, go to the pickup counter where they confirm your photo and give you your drink.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      How is this easier (or more desirable from any viewpoint) than the current system? I fail to see what problem is being solved.

      • by sh00z (206503)
        GP appears to desire minimal interaction with other humans, and the steps outlined would help achieve that.
        • The interaction would still be there for those that want it. Coffee shops have historically been a place where you can sit and chill, and if the barista is friendly (and you're not a dick) when things slow down you'll have your chance to chat.

          Besides, if you are attempting to chat and have a grand old time expecting fluffy feelings of human interaction when there's a line to the door, you're simply an asshole, just like those folks that don't know what they want to order in a busy bar.
      • Re:No cashier needed (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Anubis IV (1279820) on Wednesday August 08, 2012 @10:40AM (#40918007)

        In computing terms, it's the difference between serial and parallel. In this case, allowing anyone to check themselves out via their phones would mean that more transactions could be handled per minute, even though each transaction may take longer to accomplish. It would also be a less frustrating experience, since customers could go in, sit down, and make the transaction in their own time from the comfort of a nice seat, rather than having to stand in line for an interminable amount of time while the lady at the front forces the poor cashier to repeat back to her the 17 adjectives describing her "coffee" drink, just to make sure he didn't mess up the order.

        Now, I'm sure we'll still need a cashier to handle people like her who want to place custom or unusual orders that aren't handled easily via Square, but for the majority of people, it can be used to speed them along. Apple has actually been using a system like this for a few months now, where any customer with an iOS device can download a retail store app, find the product they want in the store, and simply purchase it from their device, then walk out the door, all without having to ever talk to a salesperson. It sounds crazy to me, to be honest, but the people I've talked to who have done it think it's absolutely great.

        • Half of all coffee shop transactions are still cash, believe it or not. It's easy to tell by the way my girlfriend's tips are split out; on a good day, she'll get a 50/50 split between cash and credit card tips.

          In fact, since Starbucks doesn't allow CC tips, only cash tips, this will actually hurt their baristas badly, who usually make minimum wage (or even far less, in some shops/chains) plus tips.
      • Uh, speed? The benefits are obvious. Any time a customer can walk into a store, and have the store know exactly what they want, it's faster.

        Think of it as similar to phoning an order in prior to going in. You just float to the pickup counter, pay, and leave. Much as the baristas will miss out on flirting with you, from a business standpoint it's a huge win, assuming they can pull it of even 10% of the time.
    • by badfish99 (826052)

      Why bother with customers at all? Just track the people walking past the store, charge each of them $5, and leave the country with a big bag of cash before the police can catch up with you.

      Credit card transactions with no audit trail: what could possibly go wrong?

      • by Mitreya (579078)

        Credit card transactions with no audit trail: what could possibly go wrong?

        Hah! If it's good enough for our democratic elections, it's good enough for buying coffee!

    • by AmIAnAi (975049)
      But then I wouldn't get to chat to the attractive cashier while they took my order. Seriously though, I can see the advantage if you're getting a coffee to go and can simply go straight to the collection point, but if I'm going to sit down its nice to have someone say hello and smile as you give your order, ask how you are and comment on the weather.
      • by Anonymous Coward

        My phone has a weather app.

    • by tomhath (637240)
      Sadly, that's how coffee shops used to be. When I worked in one I knew the regulars and had their order ready before they sat down. Now get off my lawn.
    • GPS? Why not use connecting to the in store wifi as the trigger, and then talk to the register directly. I bet this is implemented with a central service that will fail with the slightest internet connection issue.
  • How is this even possible, the accuracy of standard GPS and size of starbucks stores ensures there must be a high margin of error - unless I'm misunderstanding.
    • by Nimloth (704789)
      Don't know about you but my phone can usually find me within 6 to 10 meters.
      • by Shavano (2541114)
        There are lots of Starbucks where you can't get a cell phone signal or a GPS ( urban canyons, grocery stores) .
    • by Mr. X (17716)
      Wi-Fi triangulation should be pretty accurate, since pretty much any Starbucks store is guaranteed to be broadcasting a Wi-Fi signal.
  • by blackest_k (761565) on Wednesday August 08, 2012 @08:50AM (#40916939) Homepage Journal

    I am quite uneasy about all this gps tracking and logging which is going on these days?
    Sure it's just a coffee in this case but do you really want everything logged and recorded?
    How long before your inbox is getting spammed with we notice you haven't been in starbucks for a while here's a voucher to super size your coffee on your next visit. Should there be records of your movements associations and purchases.

    Facebook has gotten ever more intrusive, especially with timeline they are recording where you go and who you meet up with.

    Your smartphone will tag your location with gps when you take a photo in the exif information (firefox has an extension to read the exif and locate it on a map for you). I noticed facebook strips the exif data from photographs but facebook is still likely to retain it for their own purposes and of course facebook will turn over everything it has to the Police should they so request.

    I'm all for using technology when it is useful to the user, but this constant casual surveillance is beginning to get more than a little creepy. You don't have to live in Syria to find a goverment who will use technology against you given the opportunity.
     

    • It's not for you. They're selling mocha frappuccinos to yuppies. When they start accepting smartphone payments for tin foil hats your feedback will be welcome.

      • To be honest I like good coffee, so you're right but for the wrong reasons.

        It doesn't make financial sense paying for coffee by card the retailer pays a transaction fee and a percentage for processing the card and your bank probably charges you for using the card.

        Granted profit margins are huge on coffee sales but for most small purchases it can cost the retailer to sell to you when the payment is plastic

    • You'll be happy to know then, that this is entirely optional. After all, how would they serve customers without smartphones? Square is already in use at my local coffee shop, but the only interaction it has with me is via my credit card and my e-mail. The coffee shop is basically just using it as a traditional POS, with them taking my order, punching it in, swiping my card, and then turning the iPad around so that I can provide a tip if I want to and sign my name on the screen. After that, I chose to give S

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Optional. Until it isn't.

        Its only a matter of time before some controlf-freak "digital generation" genius decides cash is too yucky, cumbersome, difficult, or risky to handle, and "frees" the baristas from having to deal such 20th-century detritus.

        This is the year, as I predicted, that the control-freak crowd started their propaganda campaign disguised as sociological research, to show that anyone without a Facebook account should be viewed with great suspicion.

  • Yikes (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Venner (59051) on Wednesday August 08, 2012 @08:52AM (#40916949)

    Am I the only one whose first knee-jerk thought was, "Wow, that's great! And from now on, I use nothing but cash!"

    What's wrong with a simple asymmetric encryption system keyed to a particular cellphone, to be activated at checkout?

    GPS-revealing apps already weird me out -- along with peoples' obliviousness to personal safety and/or security -- but automatically promulgating your name and photo to the store you enter quite exceeds creepy. At least this service is optional...for now.

    • My yikes was a different one.

      Square seems to be going for the paypal market - being a middle-man between the credit card companies and the merchants.

      Just like with paypal, I cannoth fathom why the credit card companies would allow this to go on without offering a similar service themselves, and I also cannot understand how it could possibly be anything but more expensive per transaction for the merchant.

      The pay-by-phone tech that I would be interested in is this:

      Merchant requests a payment token from my pho

      • by cob666 (656740)

        Square seems to be going for the paypal market - being a middle-man between the credit card companies and the merchants.

        Just like with paypal, I cannoth fathom why the credit card companies would allow this to go on without offering a similar service themselves, and I also cannot understand how it could possibly be anything but more expensive per transaction for the merchant.

        The difference is that Square is actually a Merchant Service Provider, for all intents and purposes, they ARE the credit card company. Paypal is more like an escrow service. I own a small business and have a merchant service account through a decent provider, the rates are pretty good and the money shows up in my bank pretty quickly. After reviewing services like Square and Intuit's GoPayment I realized that once I factor in the monthly fee I'm currently paying my provider, any fees associated with my POS

    • by hawguy (1600213)

      Exactly -- when I saw that they'd Sbux scan a barcode, I thought that sounded ok (but what happened toe NFC being the ultimate solution to contactless pay-by-phone!?). But when I saw that Square wanted to be able to track my movements at all times via GPS so my phone can automatically authorize payments at a merchant anytime I walk in the door, that's when I realized that I'm sticking to credit cards.

      I don't even mind letting the merchant know that I've walked in their door since they're going to know one w

    • GPS-revealing apps already weird me out -- along with peoples' obliviousness to personal safety and/or security

      I agree. I look at all the popular titles on android and there are so many I will not install because it requests either "your location" or "phone identity".

      There are exceptions for actual apps like google maps or gas buddy, where location is actually needed to enhance the usefulness of the app. However, Angry Birds and many other games will never see the light of day on my phone.

  • I must be missing something. Square allows me to say my name to purchase coffee and saves me the great pain of opening my wallet and taking out my credit card and handing it to the cashier. I know I am a lazy fuck, but I seem to always have the energy to take my credit card out of my wallet. I know there must be more to this. Perhaps Square intends to offer debit card like services with lower transaction fees in the future and cut Visa and MasterCard out of the picture.

    I am not sure I want Starbucks to tra

  • by vlm (69642)

    Starbucks will match the photo and the payment will be complete

    Can your average employee handle that? Seems like a risk of clicking the wrong victim. If they require the employee to type in the name first, then if they allow users to select their "screen name" or "nick name" you just know jokers like me will have nick names like "Mr Goatse" or "Mr Hugh G Rection"

    The other part is I don't want retail establishments to know who I am. Not because I'm a crook but because its too creepy. I already hate having shelf stockers and oxygen wasters at Best Buy bug me every 30

  • One: I don't like vanilla lattes, so a grande would really be out of the question.

    Two: my wife and I use the same account-- her with the card, me with the phone. How does this let us share?

    Three: it is the human interaction that makes a place like Starbucks special and worth $3 for a disposable cup of colored water. Convenience and efficiency are great, but destroying that culture will be killing the goose that laid the golden egg.

  • by xeno (2667) on Wednesday August 08, 2012 @09:32AM (#40917297)

    Square? You mean the purveyors of the butter-slice sized "I-can't-believe-it's-PCI-compliant!" (tm) mobile payment system? The first time I had some hipster process my card with his iPhone, I was apalled that there was a system that *can't* issue a physical receipt. I know, I know, most people swipe their cards and wave off the receipt, taking it on faith that the merchant will charge only the amount shown on the till and not a little more... or the maximum I just authorized with the card-present swipe. If the charge is off, you have no proof, no way of coming back, nothing at all.

    Oh sure, I can stand there for another 2-3min while I ask said hipster to email or text me a "receipt" (at least it has a transaction number) usually accompanied with a lot of huffing and puffing about how giving me a receipt is a hassle and why do I want one anyway....? Because I just did the electronic equivalent of laying my wallet on the counter and saying "Take what you need." I'd like some acknowledgement of what was taken. Is that such a burden? I still write a few checks for bills and such so there are multiple transaction types debited against a single account, and I like to reconcile payments and balance my account periodically like a grownup.

    I might slide more easily into the paperless future if the rate of "error" (not really) wasn't going up. Even in my run-o-the-mill consumer usage, I've had a few instances in the past year where a person (a local drive-up barista, a dude selling t-shirts at Comicon, etc) where there was a discrepancy between what I was told and what was punched in. It's never in my favor, and if I didn't catch it in tiny print on a smudgy screen before faux-signing with my finger... And when I ask for a receipt -- even a text pseudo-receipt -- they got all flustered, and one even refused (that was the one who'd added an even two dollars). Persoanlly, if you're that hard up to steal a buck from me, you can have it. But that doesn't mean it's right.

    All of a sudden this older type of "skimming" is coming back into vogue, something that I haven't seen since... well, ever in my lifetime. My parents used to talk about deli guys with a finger on the scale, and cashiers with pennies on the counter to count how many dollars in the till they'd lifted from customers (so they could balance the till by pocketing the right amt of cash at the end of the day), but I thought they were funny old-people stories. Any now Square comes along with a magical box that re-enables a petty crime by depricating auth logs... and few people seem to give a crap.

    Everything old is new again.

    • by langelgjm (860756) on Wednesday August 08, 2012 @10:51AM (#40918145) Journal

      The first time I had some hipster process my card with his iPhone, I was apalled that there was a system that *can't* issue a physical receipt.

      How is that different than shopping online? You're relying on online vendors to present you with a confirmation page, which you can then choose to print on your printer, or have e-mailed to you. If you're buying a physical object, you might get a receipt with your shipment, or maybe just a packing list. If not, where's your physical receipt? It's up to you to print it.

      Square will e-mail or text you a receipt. Is it that hard to enter 10 digits to get a text? If the person you're buying from is complaining, the problem is them, not the system.

      • by xeno (2667)

        Online retailers don't process cards the same way as a "card-present" (Visa/MC/PCIco's term) transaction, don't get full track data, have different terms, easier chargebacks, etc etc. OTOH Square reads full-track data, and processes it thru an uncontrolled consumer device with encryption that terminates at the next proxy... Yeah. So I have the highest-disclosure type of activities happening thru the highest-risk type of merchant processing. 's no good.

    • "If the charge is off, you have no proof, no way of coming back, nothing at all."

      You must have really, really horrible credit cards. Get an AMEX. If a charge is off, call them - they'll fix it. I even had a situation where a mechanic shop charged me $1k for /not fixing/ my harley, so after a bit of protesting I walked out the door, called AMEX, and let them handle it. I did have to send in a little form defending my protest of the charge, but only because it was $1k, versus the $10 charge for a $3 coff

    • by ScentCone (795499)
      You've never really used this system, have you? Or does it actually take you two to three minutes to type in your e-mail address on a pad? Really? Two to three minutes? Because it's swipe, sign, optionally-type, done. I've done hundreds of Square transactions, and it takes seconds. You don't know what you're talking about.
      • by xeno (2667)

        > it's swipe, sign, optionally-type, done.
        > I've done hundreds of Square transactions, and it takes seconds. You don't know what you're talking about.

        You are clearly an unusually adept expert. Oh wait.... no.

        The standard *actual* usage scenario is... hand my card over, wait for the person to dig out his/her phone from their pocket, wait for them to dig out the Square dongle from some other pocket or purse, wait for them to plug it in and swipe, swipe, swipe to find the app, start it, fiddle with

        • by ScentCone (795499)
          So your compaint is about small-time retailers who don't understand the value of your time, and thus aren't prepared to cashier your order. You'd have the same complaint if they used a classic wireless credit card terminal, but didn't have it turned on or loaded with paper until after you handed them your credit card.
  • New app! Ok, so now Starbucks can virtually stalk me. Not that corporations don't already stalk all of us, but once that kind of data becomes accessible, Apps like "Girls Around Me" come to bear, and then we're all suddenly creeped out by the lack of privacy...

    But hey, if I have to give up my privacy for a 1-second time-savings while buying a coffee, I guess we're all with it, then, eh?

    And it only takes one moderately border-line wacko working at Starbucks to know the home address of the cute blonde that as

  • by Enry (630) <enry.wayga@net> on Wednesday August 08, 2012 @09:41AM (#40917387) Journal

    Starbucks already has a mobile payment system for smartphones that uses a barcode. I haven't had to carry my starbucks card in my wallet for months. That makes is slightly more secure since my wallet can be stolen while my Android phone can be remotely wiped and is PIN-locked.

    As soon as you enter a Starbucks, you're in a wifi area (attwifi) that you have to click-through before you get Internet access. If most Starbucks customers are like me, they use it. So the instant you walk into a store, there's no way for the phone to communicate to the store that you've entered, since the internet connection is being blocked by the clickthrough. This isn't a problem for the existing smartphone app since it already knows your card number and can generate the barcode. The balance and ability to reload won't work, but that may not be necessary for the transaction.

    And yes, I like Starbucks. Their decaf is one of the few drinkable varieties.

    • ...er, but couldn't the phone communicate over 3G/4G data?

      Somehow I doubt the 'typical' Starbucks customer doesn't have data on their phone plan...

      • by Enry (630)

        You must not use a smartphone.

        When you enter an area that has a wifi SSID you've used before, the 3/4G data shuts off and you get data via wifi. Even though you're now on wifi you won't have access to the Internet until you've opened a browser window and confirm you've accepted the terms of service.

    • Surely the clickthrough software has a whitelist that they can use to allow access to their own systems though? Even more so if the system is operated locally.

  • Not that it hasn't been ongoing already...

    My wallet stays in a secured, not-readily-accessible pocket, and only comes out when I need it. My phone is shown and changes hands everywhere, so friends and acquaintances can look at photos, videos, or use an app. I understand the big corporate push to monetize your smartphone - it's part of the neverending drive to depersonalize and devalue money so corporations can more easily separate it from you - but why do people buy into it? Is the minute convenience of n

  • It's strange that they're only targeting Grande Vanilla Lattes. But they must know what they're doing!

  • “Pay With Square, Square’s cellphone app, which eliminates even having to take the phone out of your pocket or sign a receipt.” Okay, so how does the cell phone app work if I don't actually unlock the phone or run the app? And while you're at it, if I'm inside a shopping mall, the GPS location is going to be completely wonky and it will have no idea what store I'm actually in.
  • Kingdom Hearts Mocha Latte?

    Oh sorry, wrong Square.

It is not for me to attempt to fathom the inscrutable workings of Providence. -- The Earl of Birkenhead

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