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Starbucks Orders Double Shot of Square

Coffee giant grows partnership with Jack Dorsey's startup

Photo: Paul J. Richards/AFP/Getty Images

Starbucks is selling Square's mobile card readers for $10 in the coffee retail giant's 7,000 locations nationwide, extending the companies' budding partnership. The readers let users accept credit and debit card payments from individuals and are free after rebate.

"We have a lot of small business owners who do business in our stores. So we wanted to offer them the reader for their business needs. And it just seemed like a good natural next step in our relationship with Square," a Starbucks spokesperson told Adweek. 

Indeed, the development comes just two months after Starbucks implemented the tech startup's mobile app-based payment system dubbed Square Wallet in its stores around the country. The iPhone/Android app lets the coffee-drinking patrons make payments by simply saying their name. They can forego using their physical credit card with the app, which bills the person's stored credit card account during a purchase.

In addition to Starbucks, Square Wallet can be utilized by consumers at Walmart, Apple, Target, Walgreens, FedEx Office, AT&T, Best Buy, Staples and RadioShack. All in all, the San Francisco-based tech firm says it's in 30,000 retail locations.

Also during November 2012, Starbucks disclosed it plans to invest some $25 million in Square—the brainchild of Twitter founder and chairman Jack Dorsey.

Meanwhile, today's news seems to be another notable notch in the belt for Square, positioning itself against increasing "digital wallet" competition from American Express, LevelUp, Google Wallet and others. The companies look to capture a mobile audience by streamlining payments between on-the-go consumers and retailers.

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