Square’s new feature is tailor-made for caffeine addicts who don’t want to talk to anyone before they’ve got their java fix.
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The Square Order app, available for iPhones and Android devices, has a new feature that will predict when customers are nearing the coffee shop. This way, baristas can make sure the order is ready and waiting – but not sitting out too long.
“It’s technology that Square developed to enable people to really control their preordering experience. They’re not setting a pickup time, so if things run late, they don’t [miss] their pickup time,” Square spokesperson Semonti Stephens said. Once the user nears the coffee shop, the app alerts the store and the order ticket gets printed. The customer can then pick up their phone and pay through the app, without having to swipe a card or tap the phone on any hardware device.
Stephens said the app’s latest update also includes the ability to save orders for the future – perfect for the non-fat cappuccino drinkers who want extra foam, three shots of espresso and a sprinkle of cinnamon on top.
Square Order is currently available only in San Francisco and New York City, though Stephens said the app will eventually be made available to a wider audience. Blue Bottle Coffee is partnering with Square and will be integrating these features across the chain’s 13 locations in these markets.
"We're always looking for new ways to foster hospitality at our stores and acknowledge regular guests,” James Freeman, Blue Bottle founder and CEO, said. “We are excited to partner with Square to continue to offer a quality experience for our guests while serving coffee in a much more streamlined fashion.”
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And while the new features may be a godsend for heavy coffee drinkers, they’re also an indicator that Square is playing to its strengths, technology analyst and Altimeter Group founder and CEO Charlene Li said. This is especially important given that the mobile payments space is becoming increasingly crowded.
“I think they have a very unique niche with small businesses,” Li said. Incorporating predictive orders into a coffee shop’s normal workflow is a big step, and Li said the new features speak highly to the trust that Square’s merchant customers have with the company.
“It’s more than a payment system … It’s enabling the relationship that merchants have with the customers and the relationship the merchants have with Square,” Li said. “I think that it’s a really interesting feature that other players will have to catch up to.”