Starbucks, Square, and the Future of Money

Monday, August 13, 2012

Senior writer for Wired, Steven Levy, explains how cashless payment at Starbucks will evolve through a new deal with Square, and what it means for commerce and the consumer experience.


Steven Levy

Comments [15]


Oh good grief.. Facebook won't get into surveillance face recognition stuff? The CIA and FBI fund Facebook!

Aug. 13 2012 11:43 AM
Lila from Home

Who doesn't have smart phones? I see 10 year olds with them, people in housing projects. I think the only people who dont are people like my parents and I'm sure they are happy to pay in cash.

Aug. 13 2012 11:41 AM
Amy Adams

Square only takes 2.75% from merchants, which is lower than most other processing companies. So everyone is happy to absorb it.

Aug. 13 2012 11:40 AM
Sarah from UES

What does this say about privatizing a public system like money/cash? Are we surrendering our privacy?

Your guest contradicts himself, one minute he says it's safer than credit cards, but then he says credit cards are protected.

Aug. 13 2012 11:39 AM
Hugh Sansom

So what Square is really about is tracking up more. And what happens when the Obama and administration or other Republicrats demand that Starbucks and other retailers surrender information on our purchases and travel? The telecoms and Google have completely rolled over on government intrusions into our privacy.

Aug. 13 2012 11:38 AM
Angela from Brooklyn

"Improve the user experience." Not to be cynical but I'm pretty sure the bigger incentive is more money for the vendor. People tend to spend more when they use plastic instead of cash.

Aug. 13 2012 11:38 AM
john from office

Cash is king!!

This sounds like another thing to worry about. URGH. What about a poor person who has no cell phone??

Aug. 13 2012 11:37 AM
cindy from brooklyn

how will no cash affect tips for baristas, waitstaff? Will hourly wages be adjusted to offset?

Aug. 13 2012 11:37 AM
Sean Pisano from Brooklyn,

No this guy has it all wrong. The Square app has a TAB button you have to press. It's like a check in. I already use this app to pay for things.

Aug. 13 2012 11:36 AM
Nick from UWS

Jesus much Kool Aid are people expected to drink? People have nothing to fear from George Orwell, they are willingly building Big Brother themselves. This segment, and this Wired guy's enthusiasm for it, makes me want to dry heave.

Aug. 13 2012 11:36 AM
Hugh Sansom

How is it safer than handing over cash...

Aug. 13 2012 11:35 AM
Jenny from UES

I completely understand improving transactions but cash offers privacy. We cannot ever lose that. Secondly given our recent and long history with a culture of credit issues, could this be detrimental to the idea of spending only what you have? Physical money means something, sometimes it's the media not the message.

Aug. 13 2012 11:35 AM
fuva from harlemworld

What about tipping? What about cash-only busineses, which abound? What about all the data that will be collected on us? What about this electronic money being easily frozen and taken out of our control? Etc? Nah.

Aug. 13 2012 11:34 AM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

Future? The South Koreans and others, have been doing this for years.

Anything to release the monopoly of visa/master card and big banks is a good thing.

Aug. 13 2012 11:32 AM
CK from YKT

How do they handle twins?

Aug. 13 2012 11:32 AM

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