Square, which offers a tiny credit-card reader that plugs into smartphones and tablets, announced a partnership with Starbucks on Wednesday that will allow customers to pay with Square at almost 7,000 Starbucks stores starting in the fall. Starbucks is investing $25 million in the San Francisco-based startup and the coffee chain’s CEO, Howard Schultz, is becoming a part of Square’s board.
The partnership gives a huge boost to Square, which has typically been thought of as a tool for local businesses, not publicly traded retail giants. It’s also another sign that Starbucks sees the growing importance of mobile payments–the company already has a popular mobile app that customers can use to pay for their coffee drinks.
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