Square and Starbucks partner up, soon you’ll only need your name and your phone to pay for a coffee

Pay With SquareA potentially market-changing partnership between Square, the mobile payments company, and Starbucks, the coffee chain, has been announced. Besides investing in Square, Starbucks will start processing its credit card payments through the company, and will be offering customers the chance to pay for their coffees using Square’s app too.

Square is probably best known for its square credit card reader, and for being Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey’s startup. Although you’ll have to decide for yourself whether a company valued at $3.25 billion, can still be classed as a startup.

Starbucks has added $25 million to Square’s investment pot as part of this new deal, and Howard Schultz, Starbucks’ CEO, will join the Board too. Payments made at Starbucks with a credit or debit card will be processed by Square, but most excitingly, in the future it will implement Square’s mobile, GPS-based payment system too.

Pay With Square is the company’s mobile app, and initially it will work in a similar way to Starbucks own mobile payment app, where a barcode will need to be scanned by the cashier.

But in the future, Starbucks intends to make use of Pay With Square’s GPS-based system. The location-aware app will communicate with Starbucks payment system when you walk in, your details will appear on the cashier’s screen and all you’ll need to do is to say your name to pay.

This doesn’t sound all that secure, but to set Pay With Square up you need to provide a picture of yourself, which is then shared with the retailer for the cashier to confirm at the time of sale — almost like a passport. We’re sure Starbucks is looking forward to all those who will inevitably chose a picture of their cat/dog/baby/car as their avatar.

No to NFC, yes to the iPad

It’s an interesting alternative to NFC-based wireless payments, as there’s no direct interaction between your phone and the point-of-sale, but you still register your payment card with the app.

Also, we could see Starbucks adopt the iPad as its register, as at the moment, Pay With Square’s retailer-side system only supports Apple’s tablet.

Dorsey tweeted that more details on the new partnership would be revealed this week, which we hope will include a list of locations and a timescale for Pay With Square’s GPS rollout.

Starbucks has already seen considerable success with its app — 26 million payments in 2011 — so its customers are used to paying this way, but the partnership is a much bigger deal for Square, as this level of exposure could catapult the still-niche company into the mainstream.

Smart Home

Who needs Stitch Fix? Maison Me uses A.I. to custom design clothing just for you

With backing from Google, a new Silicon Valley-based startup called Maison Me is offering A.I.-assisted, designed-to-order clothing. It's like a personal styling service on steroids.
Mobile

How to clean your iPhone’s charging port

What happens when your iPhone charger doesn't work? It's time to look at the charging port. Here's how to clean your iPhone's charging port: We'll go over the most successful methods and the safety tips you need to know.
Home Theater

TV calibration 101: Here's how to tune up the picture of your new TV

You’ve got your new TV out of the box, but now what? Our TV picture adjustment guide takes you through the simple steps to get the best picture from your brand new TV so you can set it and forget it.
Mobile

iOS 12 is now available -- here's how to install it on your Apple device

Apple unveiled iOS 12 at this year's WWDC and it's now ready for everyone. Here's how to install iOS 12 on an iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch using your device's settings or with iTunes on your computer.
Home Theater

What is MHL, exactly, and how does it work with your TV?

There are more ways to mirror your smartphone or tablet to your TV than you might think. Check out our rundown of MHL for everything you need to know about the wired protocol and its myriad uses.
Emerging Tech

Swiss researcher offers blueprints for animal-friendly autonomous machines

A scientist worries that our high-tech future fails to consider the well-being of other creatures: "Machine ethics has so far concentrated almost exclusively on automatic actions that affect people."
Emerging Tech

The Flamethrower Diet is better than keto and I burned all this food to prove it

When I first caught word that Elon Musk's Boring Company was selling a fully-functional flamethrower, I knew right away that I wanted to use it as a replacement for all of my modern cooking appliances. Why use a microwave when you can use a…
Computing

Facebook appears set on crafting custom silicon for augmented reality devices

Facebook's latest job postings are seeking engineers and developers for custom augmented reality chipsets, and seem to support speculation that the company is looking to produce AR glasses.
Emerging Tech

Don’t be fooled — this automated system sneakily manipulates video content

In the vein of “deep fakes," Recycle-GAN, a new system from Carnegie Mellon University, presents another case for how difficult it will be to distinguish fiction from reality in the future.
Emerging Tech

Moxi the ‘friendly’ hospital robot wants to help nurses, not replace them

Moxi is a "friendly" hospital robot from Texas-based Diligent Robotics. The wheel-based bot, which begins trials this week, aims to free nurses from routine tasks so they can spend more time with patients.
Emerging Tech

How do 3D printers work? Here’s a super-simple breakdown

How do 3D printers work, exactly? If you ever wondered how these magical machines create 3D objects in a matter of hours, then look no further than this dead-simple breakdown of the four most common printing technologies.
Emerging Tech

Sick of walking everywhere? Here are the best electric skateboards you can buy

Thanks for Kickstarter and Indiegogo, electric skateboards are carving a bigger niche than you might think. Whether you're into speed, mileage, or something a bit more stylish, here are the best electric skateboards on the market.
Emerging Tech

Giant wind farm in Morocco will help mine cryptocurrency, conserve energy

One of the windiest parts of Morocco is set to get a $2 billion wind farm power plant, which could help power eco-friendly cryptocurrency mining in a more environmentally friendly way.
Emerging Tech

Robots are going to steal 75 million jobs by 2025 — but there’s no need to panic

According to the World Economic Forum, robots and A.I. will take 75 million jobs from hardworking humans by 2025. That's the bad news. The good news is that they will create far more jobs than that.