In efforts to cut costs and expand payment options for customers, two of the nation's largest retailers last week announced new payment technology options.
Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz announced that technology start up Square will begin processing all credit card transactions at Starbucks’ more than 7,000 stores. Digital tipping also will be enabled on its mobile payment apps and on Square Wallet in the United States by next summer. The technology would eventually allow customers to order and pay for drinks via their smartphone before they even enter a store.
Big box retailer Wal-Mart also announced it is going head-to-head with banks by launching a prepaid American Express card known as Bluebird that will act much like a debit or credit card. Company executives said users of the new card will not face a minimum balance requirement, overdraft charges or other fees typically imposed by banks and can use the card anywhere American Express is accepted or at automated teller machines for cash.
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