Link: Paying without Square ☍

Shared on March 20, 2013

Austin Carr did some testing for Fast Company to see how the rollout of Square at Starbucks locations was going (via SplatF):

But after nearly three months in the wild–and several rounds of glowing press coverage since the partnership was announced–the experience of paying with Square at Starbucks is anything but polished. We’ve been experimenting with the service in recent months, having our reporters and freelancers (and a few volunteers) around the country test it out at almost two dozen Starbucks locations. At worst, the service simply did not work. On average, however, the user experience was buggy and awkward, with Starbucks employees seemingly more confused about how Square works than their own customers. Our evidence is anecdotal–and our sample size small–but the results of our tests are telling, especially given the reputations Starbucks and Square have for customer service. It serves to show that however refined a user experience might be on a local level, scaling such a streamlined UX all at once is borderline impossible.

It sounds like the combination of lack of training and lack of usage is to blame for the issues Carr experienced. I, probably like many others, haven’t looked to try to use Square as a payment method, since Starbucks’s own app and Passbook card work so well. Still, this is probably something that I expect the two companies to work on, especially if it does start getting the reputation of being frustrating. Besides that, the bigger and more important part of the partnership seems to be going smoothly—Square handling all the credit card processing for Starbucks.

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