Barnes & Noble customers who go to swipe their credit cards to pay for purchases are still out of luck after a PIN pad security breach months ago. But in-store Starbucks locations are debuting a new mobile payments system that lets customers pay for coffee and pastries simply by scanning their smartphones.
Square Wallet announced their partnership with Starbucks in August, and this week marked the debut of the mobile payment system in Starbucks locations across the U.S. Starting November 8, about 7,000 Starbucks locations began accepting Square Wallet, a smartphone app that allows customers to pay from a credit card or debit card account by scanning their phone at the register.
Meanwhile, Barnes & Noble, which houses independent Starbucks stores within many of its retail spaces, continues to face payment system woes. Nearly two months after disconnecting PIN pads at all of their 700 locations following the discovery of bugs in 63 of them.
That means customers who buy a book will have to hand their credit card over to the cashier or use cash to pay instead of swiping their own card – just like in older, lower-tech days. Then if they decide to get a cup of coffee on the other side of the store, they can fast-forward to the future and use their phone to pay.
100 Million Mobile Transactions
Starbucks isn’t new to the mobile payments revolution. They were the first national retailer to offer their own mobile payment technology, which was launched in January 2011. Adam Brotman, Starbucks chief digital officer, said that since the launch of their mobile payment option, “we have seen a tremendous response from our customers with more than 100 million mobile transactions occurring in our U.S. stores.”
Customers who used their Starbucks cards and the My Starbucks Rewards customer loyalty program will find that their rewards are fully integrated into Square Wallet, as they were with Starbucks’ own mobile payment system.
To use Square Wallet, customers simply download the app to the iOS or Android smartphones and link their credit, debit, or Starbucks card. Purchases will be automatically charged to their selected card when they scan it at the Starbucks register.
No word on PIN pads at B&N
Meanwhile, Barnes & Noble has offered no timeline on the restoration of PIN pads to the stores affected, though an internal investigation revealed that less than one percent of PIN pads in all 700 of their locations had been compromised. They have assured customers that their database is secure, and they continue to work with law enforcement to contact customers whose accounts may have been breached.