Whole Foods to Use iPads, Square for POS Registers

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The upscale grocery store chain Whole Foods Market has signed a deal with the credit card processing company Square to bring iPad-based point of sale systems into its U.S. locations. The POS terminals will be used at ready-to-consume points such as the coffee and sandwich bars, and will support credit card payments as well as cash and the Square Wallet smartphone app.

Whole Foods adds Square iPad POS terminals to its storesWhole Foods adds Square iPad POS terminals to its stores

Square started as a mobile payment system for individuals and small companies, but the company also had its eye on big companies. CEO Jack Dorsey told Time, "We believe, fundamentally, that they should be using the same tools. And therefore the only limit is their ambition."

Whole Foods Market isn't the first big name company to sign a deal with Square. Starbucks began using Square to process its credit card payments in 2012, although the coffee chain is using its own hardware to process transactions instead of Square's card readers and iPads.

The Square iPad POS terminals have started to appear in a handful of Whole Foods locations, with about 12 more locations planned for the initial rollout. The retailer expects to be adding more stores to its Square program over time.

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Traditional credit card processing companies should be getting worried about Square. The company already has Starbucks on board, loads of small businesses, and now Whole Foods using its services. That's a lot of credit card transaction fees the old-school processing systems aren't getting any more.

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Has there been discussion by any news source on the impact this has on Microsoft? The credit card scanners in most stores are run on Windows CE and Windows Embedded.


There are lots of IPad POS apps being released, and a lot of them are being used in coffee shops and restaurants, but it remains to be seen how well they can perform in retail stores. Also, just how are they complying with PCI DSS requirements. I checked and they aren’t on the approved company list. After the numerous credit card breaches, of which Target was most notably and recently a victim of, the security of the IPad POS apps should certainly be put through the tests. Conventional POS Systems must comply with the PCI requirements. Do the POS Apps qualify under the same scrutiny?

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