In partnering with Starbucks, is Square playing a game it can win or will this foray into big business end poorly for the payment startup?

In the most recent episode of This Week in Location Based Marketing (#90) found here, Asif Khan and I discuss the short and long-term impact of the Square/Starbucks partnership. A quick recap: Starbucks has partnered with Square ( to enable credit card payments in-store across the United States. The partnership also includes Square becoming the defacto transaction company for Starbucks and a $25 million investment into Square and Charles Schultz taking a seat on the Square board of directors.

In this clip, I wonder if this is a good move by Square. Sure, it sounds sexy and Starbucks is always on the cutting edge of mobile technology but in making this deal, Square is moving upstream at a time that doesn’t make sense to me. Their bread and butter customers are the smaller companies and independent consultants that could never ever qualify for a merchant account. Is this move by Square similar to the move that RIM made when they shifted focus from the thing that made them money (enterprise) to the thing that may bankrupt them (consumer)? Can Square compete in this space against the other big and well funded companies?

Watch the video and let me know your thoughts!

To see the rest of this episode, head here.

About the author

Rob Woodbridge

I'm Rob, the founder of and I've spent 14 years immersed in the mobile and pervasive computing world. During this great time I've helped some of the most innovative companies grow their business through mobile. If you are in need of a mobile business advisor or coach, connect with me here to get things rolling.

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