At Square, we’re building technology that sells itself, says COO Keith Rabois

Mobilize 2012 Keith Rabois Square

Square made headlines this year after its landmark deal with Starbucks, which will put the mobile payment darling’s product in stores across America. But Square’s chief operating officer Keith Rabois said Friday that the company isn’t running out to hire new salespeople.

“We’re in the software business, so we produce technology that substitutes for human beings,” Rabois said at GigaOM’s Mobilize conference in San Francisco, noting that the physical Square reader sells itself through physical stores that use the product. “When I go to the coffee shop, I see it, when I get in the taxi, I see it,” he said.

Rabois commented on the partnership with Starbucks, noting that one of the biggest benefits for Starbucks stores and customers is that the national chain will be able to better recognize local customers and treat them the way a local coffee shop might.

“75 percent of Starbucks payments are anonymous, and paying with Square allows you to forge a relationship with everyone who makes purchases in your store. I go to my neighborhood bar because they know what I like to drink,” he said. “We can do that at scale for every business in the United States.”

The company is increasingly facing competitors looking to get into the mobile payments space. Just this week, Groupon launched Groupon Payments, and PayPal has a similar product as well.

Unlike Square, PayPal has a sales team, but Rabois didn’t seem threatened.

“They’re going to need it,” he said.

Check out the rest of our Mobilize 2012 coverage here, and the live stream can be found here.

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