Square, the payment services company that allows payments to be accepted through mobile devices, is bringing a speedier checkout to select Whole Foods stores throughout the U.S. in what is Square’s biggest partnership since Starbucks began using Square to process payments in 2012.
As part of a new partnership between Square and the natural foods market, Whole Foods is installing Square Stands at on-the-go food venues within select Whole Foods. Using the iPads and Square Register software embedded in these stands, customers can pay for items from Whole Foods’ sandwich counters, juice and coffee bars, pizzerias and beer and wine bars using their credit cards or the credentials stored in their Square Wallet mobile app. This will allow customers purchasing only a few things to bypass the stores’ front-end checkout lanes and complete their purchases faster.
The Square Wallet app also enables customers to browse Whole Foods items, sales and track purchases.
“With Square, Whole Foods Market will enable commerce in more parts of their stores with easy, accessible tools that showcase the best of what’s achievable in the service of retailers and customers,” said Square co-Founder and CEO Jack Dorsey.
So far seven Whole Foods stores already use Square Stand, including locations in Austin, New York, San Francisco and Florida. It’s not yet clear how many Whole Foods stores will begin using Square Stand.
Though the partnership adds heft to the utility of Square’s services, it’s not as clear what Whole Foods is getting out of the deal – why doesn’t Whole Foods just use its own POS system for speedy food venue checkouts? As Jason Del Rey at Re/code points out, Whole Foods might be testing Square Stand for a wider rollout of Square services throughout its stores. Square’s press release corroborates this idea, stating that several Whole Foods locations will serve as “lab stores” for additional testing. “Together with Square, we’ll deliver options to expedite checkouts, and we look forward to developing new concepts to further simplify and improve grocery shopping,” said Walter Robb, co-CEO of Whole Foods Market.
This is Square’s first partnership with a national grocer.
Square recently launched payment code, a service that allows merchants to accept mobile phone payments with their existing POS equipment.
Have you used Square Stand yet to check out at a Whole Foods store?