Thursday, December 13, 2012

Experiencing Payments: Square at Starbucks

Since Starbucks and Square announced their project, I've not managed to use Square at a Starbucks location.  Until yesterday.  It was straightforward.  It was as easy as the closed loop Starbucks app and it had a particularly interesting feature.  See the last panel for that.

The first pair of screenshots show Square as it launches and once I've selected the Starbucks location.  Notice in the first panel, the app picks up the other nearby Square merchants.

The second pair show the payment initiation screen and the 2D barcode as presented for scanning.

The last two are the more interesting.  The first shows that I did two transactions at the store.  

Of more important, the second shows what I bought during the first transaction.  That's SKU-level data, folks.  That means that Square sees Starbucks transaction detail going by.  No doubt, Square's promised to do nothing with it without Starbucks permission.  But that's the level of detail that Square is seeing via its Register application, too.  

SKU-level detail is among the most prized merchant assets.  Walmart would never consider sharing its item-level detail with a payments provider.  That's why on your bank and card statements you only see the total amount of the transaction.   The receipt detail is only with the merchant and on that piece of paper the clerk gave you.  While some wonder about Square's revenue model - it's not making much on 2.75% of a transaction - one can imagine the value of data analytics services.

And, no, I didn't eat both the scone and the cinnamon roll.  Lew ate the roll. 

Although I knew the answer, I asked the barista if he could see any personal information about me.  Nope.  Square's "put it on my tab" capability has not been integrated with the Starbucks electronic cash registers.  

I'm more interested to know if Square is building APIs to its "put it on my tab" capability, among others, so that other eCR makers can support Square.  Anyone know?

No comments:

Post a Comment