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Starbucks announces partnership with mobile payment company

Many Virginia small businesses already know about the convenience of new pay-by-phone technologies. Cash and check used to be the cheapest, easiest way for independent contractors and startups to take payments from customers, but now credit card scanners that plug into smart phones are becoming a more accessible way to process payment.

International coffee giant Starbucks recently took note of this and is expanding its payment options to include the use of Square, a company that makes a tiny white plastic credit card reader that plugs into the headphone jack of smartphones. Square has previously been popular at food trucks, farm stands, and other vendors that used to rely on cash only sales. As a part of the partnership with Starbucks, Square will offer payment through an application.

After the technology has been rolled out and tested, Starbucks will begin using GPS technology to notify cashiers when a Square customer has entered the store. Without removing the phone from their pocket or swiping a credit card, customers will be able to approach the cashier and confirm their name (accompanied by a photo on the cashier's screen) and place an order. Payment will be processed without a paper receipt or a signature.

Experts say that these are the types of strategic partnerships that help spread technology to the masses and improve its usability. Many say that the deal will help take us one step closer to mobile wallets, which are expected to replace traditional wallets eventually.

To learn more about these types of partnerships and other transactions for Virginia businesses, visit our Fairfax county law firm's website.

Source: New York Times, "Starbucks and Square to Team Up," Claire Cain Miller, August 8, 2012.

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