Whole Foods Cooks Up a Deal With Mobile Payment Startup Square

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Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/cafemama/

Things at Whole Foods Market (NYSE:WFM) are about to get a little more digital. The popular grocer announced last week that it is partnering with mobile payments startup Square to allow customers to pay for groceries using their iPads and smartphones.

According to the Washington Post, Whole Foods plans to roll out the technology first at select stores. At those locations, the company’s sandwich counters, pizzerias, and coffee, juice, wine, and beer bars will be outfitted with Square Register, an iPad-based system through which cashiers ring up payments and swipe customer credit cards. Customers can also download Square Wallet, a smartphone app linked to their credit cards that lets them make their transactions by scanning a QR-code to pay instantly.

Employing Square will allow the grocer to facilitate faster transactions and cut its wait times. Using iPad-based payment systems inside Whole Foods at counters that sell ready-to-consume products — from pizza and sandwiches to coffee, beer, and wine — allows customers to make quick payments and avoid long checkout lines with customers who have cartfuls of groceries. Those in line are also expected to make their payments faster, as they no longer will have to dig into the depths of their wallets to pay but rather simply flash their smartphones.

Whole Foods now is the second national retail chain to jump onboard the Square train, following in Starbucks’s (NASDAQ:SBUX) footsteps. The coffee company also accepts payments through Square Wallet and has reaped the benefits of shorter checkout lines on account of faster transactions.

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