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PayPal Rival Square Inks Deal with Supermarket

Mobile payments service Square has entered into a deal with Whole Foods Market, which will use Square’s point-of-sale systems to accept payments from customers purchasing items at food venues within select Whole Foods Market stores. It is Square’s first partnership with a national grocer.

The Whole Fools in-store venues include sandwich counters, juice and coffee bars, pizzerias, and beer and wine bars. They will use Square Register and Square Stand, Square’s suite of software and hardware tools for businesses. “By bridging the digital and in-store retail spaces at these venues, Whole Foods Market shoppers can skip the main checkout lines, reducing wait times for all customers,” according to Square.

Square is best known for its credit card reader that let micro sellers and services accept credit cards using their mobile smartphones at craft fairs, farmer markets and on the go.

Today, seven Whole Foods Market venues use Square Stand, including stores in Austin, New York City, Florida and the San Francisco Bay Area. And at select venues, Whole Foods Market will offer customers the option to use their mobile device to pay using Square Wallet, Square’s payer application, thereby avoiding the traditional front-end checkout lines.

Several Whole Foods Market locations will also serve as “lab stores,” testing additional innovations.

In 2012, Square entered into a deal with Starbucks, which invested $25 million in the payments company.

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com.