Amazon Cash Lets Shoppers Buy Online Without Cards

by Ben Jackson 0

Internet retailer giant Amazon.com announced that it has launched Amazon Cash, which enables customers to load cash into an Amazon account, TechCrunch reports.

Amazon this morning announced the launch of Amazon Cash, a new service that allows consumers to add cash to their Amazon.com balance by showing a barcode at a participating retailer, then having the cash applied immediately to their online Amazon account. The service will support adding any amount between $15 and $500 in a single transaction, Amazon says.

Amazon Cash will be available at brick-and-mortar retailers across the U.S., including CVS Pharmacy, Speedway, Sheetz, Kum & Go, D&W Fresh Market, Family Fare Supermarkets, and VG’s Grocery. Other stores will be added in the future.

The service is being touted for enabling unbanked and underbanked people to shop online, but this is only a limited understanding of the opportunities Amazon cash offers. It is not merely low-income or credit challenged people who can use this. Youth who do not have a bank account or credit card are also likely to make up part of the customer base. In addition, budget conscious people who want to avoid debt, those fearful of identity theft, and people who want to make a surprise purchase for someone who may share a card account are all likely to make use of the service. Like many services, this one is likely to find more uses among consumers than the designers anticipated.

The move should cause some concern for traditional retailers who previously had cash payments as their sole province. Others may want to follow suit and find ways to enable cash loading at third party retailers.

Overview by Ben Jackson, Director, Prepaid Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Group

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See the Amazon Cash page here