Keep an Open Tab at Starbucks


On yesterday’s news, there was a teaser about how Starbucks was going to change how we pay for things. “This is old news,” I thought to myself, “they’ve already done that with their mobile app.” I was curious about the story but forgot about it before I actually heard the details.

On this morning’s news, I saw a headline about it: “Starbucks partners with Square.” Until today, I’d never heard of Square, so I did a quick Google search and found this article at I gotta say, it sounds pretty cool. This quote from the article does a good job of summarizing how Square will change how you pay for your coffee:

At first, Starbucks customers will need to show the merchant a bar code on their phones. But when Starbucks uses Square’s full GPS technology, the customer’s phone will automatically notify the store that the customer has entered, and the customer’s name and photo will pop up on the cashier’s screen. The customer will give the merchant his or her name, Starbucks will match the photo and the payment will be complete.

That’s amazing! I just tell them my name, and they can look me up in a proximity-based list of users with photos to collect payment. It’s like having an open bar tab at Starbucks but more secure because of GPS and photo identification. It’s more secure than the current Starbucks app, too. Anybody with access to my phone today can walk into Starbucks and buy a drink with the app. With this, you’d need to have my phone and look like me.


Author: Adam Prescott

I'm enthusiastic and passionate about creating intuitive, great-looking software. I strive to find the simplest solutions to complex problems, and I embrace agile principles and test-driven development.

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