Square Inks Major Payment Deal With Whole Foods

The grocer's prepared foods and specialty beverage sections will begin using Square-equipped iPads.

Square, the digital payment system and one of Fast Company's 10 Most Innovative Companies in Finance, just scored a major coup if it hopes to one day supplant traditional cash registers. The mobile payment startup is partnering with Whole Foods around the country to bring Square-equipped iPad registers into its stores.

Although it is unclear just how many of Whole Foods's 350 stores nationwide will be implementing the payment system, inking the grocer is a big deal for founder Jack Dorsey and Co.; its biggest partnership to date, mind you, was with Starbucks back in 2012.

Customers won't see Square's signature white plastic at the checkout counter, but will instead be able to pay with their credit and debit cards (or Square Wallet app) in the prepared foods and beverage sections—or, what you probably know as the areas where you stuff compostable boxes with kale salad and/or chicken tikka masala, and fill growlers with beer, respectively. (Presumably, this is to test what may be a wider rollout later.)

"Together with Square, we'll deliver options to expedite checkouts, and we look forward to developing new concepts to further simplify and improve grocery shopping," Walter Robb, co-CEO of Whole Foods Market, said in a statement. "Square's forward-thinking vision and technology makes them an ideal partner to create a convenient, responsive experience for our customers."

[Image: Flickr user Britt Reints]

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