I noticed several people on Twitter today mention Starbuck’s new partnership with Square. I was unfamiliar with Square, so I did a little research. It turns out, I was familiar with Square but I just didn’t know its name.


Square is the company that offers those little white square credit card readers that you can plug into your Android, iPhone or iPad that allow people to accept payments through credit card. Square also offers the free Pay with Square app that allows consumers to pay with the app without ever pulling out a wallet. Out of curiosity, I downloaded the Pay with Square app to my iPhone. Here’s how it works:


  1. After downloading the free app, you need to create an account with your name, a password, and a current credit card number.
  2. The app will locate businesses near you that accept Pay with Square. When you go into that business, you can hit the “open tab” button on your phone for that business (or you can set your phone up to automatically open tabs of business that accept the app when you walk through the door).
  3. If you have an open tab on your phone for a business, when you go to check out, your name and photo appear on the register. The cashier should check that the photo matches the person making the purchase, and the purchase will be put onto the credit card that you have registered with Square.

There’s an even option to leave a tip. After your purchase, you’ll get a push notification about the payment. If you tap on that notification, you’ll be prompted to leave a tip if you want.


Some businesses offer rewards for your purchases. For instance, one of the local independent coffee shops in my area offers 10 percent off your purchase after using the Pay with Square app 10 times at their shop.


It looks like Starbucks will begin to accept payment through the Pay with Square app sometime in the fall. The coffee chain will be investing $25 million in Square, and Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz will join Square's board of directors.


Will you be downloading the Pay with Square app to make purchases at Starbucks or other businesses? Have you already done so? What has been your experience?


Robin Shreeves ( @rshreeves ) focuses on food from a family perspective from her home base in New Jersey.

How does the Pay with Square app work?
Starbucks announces the partnership, which allows customers with the Pay with Square app to purchase coffee and more without cash or credit card in hand. How do