Back in December, in my editorial column On Squares, Triangles and Cashless Transactions, I predicted that 2014 would be the year in which smartphone and mobile device cashless transactions would go mainstream. Earlier this week, yet another major "blur foodservice" player—Whole Foods—announced it is partnering with Square to bring an ipad-based payment system to the prepared food sections of its grocery stores.
Whole Foods' public statement about the arrangement only vaguely references the development of "new concepts" to simplify shopping, but operators who appreciate the value of speed and convenience to foodservice customers can readily use their imaginations to see how that could help grow the convenience-oriented takeout business Whole Foods has already made a key part of its business strategy.
Fast Company magazine reported briefly on this development in mid-Februaryhere: Square Inks Major Payment Deal with Whole Foods.
Meanwhile, eBay/Paypal's competing "Triangle" system has begun promoting the virtual no-cost availability of its mobile device plug-in hardware to interested users the same way Square has been doing for over a year. For an example, go here: Paypal Mobile Credit Card Reader.
As I said back in December... stay tuned.