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The Time Is Now for Mobile Payments

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- The time has come for business owners to accept that mobile payment systems are gaining in acceptance and that if you're not already on board your business is in danger of being left behind.

Wednesday's announcement that Starbucks (SBUX - Get Report) is partnering with Square to provide mobile payment options within its 7,000 U.S. stores and investing $25 million in the company was a major market vote of confidence in the mobile payments provider and for the movement in general.

Up until now, Square had pitched its mobile payment system primarily to small merchants, but the Starbucks announcement means the company and the concept have arrived, says Stephen Burke, vice president of mobile at Resource Interactive.

"Square works. Its transaction costs are lower, it's secure and it's just going to get better as they raise additional capital and begin to build out [founder] Jack Dorsey's vision," Burke explains, adding, "This is the next inevitable step in the mass consumerization of mobile payments."

It's also fair to say that before the Starbucks backing of Square, the mobile movement had been talked about more than it had actually been embraced.

The partnership will also "accelerate the ability of small businesses to grow with Square's innovative technology and a stronger and more widely available Square network," the companies said in a release.

For Starbucks, the move is a logical one. Burke points to consumers' morning coffee fix as a perfect example of where the proliferation of mobile payments seems to be flourishing: daily repeated, small, secure transactions.

>>>Small Businesses Assess Mobile Payments

"This is kind of drip, drip, drip exposing the American consumer in a very utilitarian, effective way. It will have an impact on small business," Burke says.

Even if a small business isn't 100% convinced of mobile payments, it can't hurt to experiment.

"[Square] is mature enough and reliable enough and secure enough" for retailers and service providers, Burke says. "Starbucks is going to stretch [the system]. That will ultimately benefit small businesses because they have a big corporation doing the heavy lifting for them."
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