Square’s sleekly designed point-of-sale terminals have started popping up at Whole Foods delis, pizza counters and beverage stands in select grocery stores around the country. Square Stand won’t replace the traditional register and credit card readers found in the checkout lanes, but they will allow Whole Foods customers to buy a sandwich or a cup of coffee without getting in a checkout line.
If you’ve ever been to Whole Foods during the week at noon, you know that most customers there aren’t shopping for groceries; They’re eating lunch. Whole Foods is using Square to capitalize on that cafeteria-style atmosphere, letting casual shoppers buy their meals and drinks at the counter.
Square Stand can accept credit cards and cash, though Whole Foods didn’t say if it would accept hard currency at these satellite registers. At some stores, customers will also be able to pay by smartphone with Square’s own payments app, Wallet.
The deal shows that Square isn’t just a payments platform for mom-and-pop stores and boutiques. With the introduction of Stand last year, it signaled its intent to move into brick-and-mortar stores that do high volumes of transactions. With its partnerships with Starbucks and Whole Foods, it isn’t just targeting medium sized businesses but massive retail corporations.