As it continues to decimate brick-and-mortar stores, Amazon want to make it even easies for everyone to shop online, even for those without a debit and credit card. The online retailer announced Monday that it’s rolling out Amazon Cash, a new payment option that doesn’t require having a bank account.
With Amazon Cash, people print out an Amazon-generated barcode that can be scanned at local participating retail stores (i.e. CVS Pharmacy, Speedway and Kum & Go) to deposit cash directly into an Amazon account. The process seems like a chore, but it’s a better alternative to constantly buying gift cards in order to shop online.
People can deposit any amount between $15 and $500 — just like with gift cards — and can recharge their balance as many times as they want with the same barcode. However, the only inconvenience is that Amazon Cash transactions are not refundable.
It might seem crazy to think that there are people still living without debit cards and bank accounts, but it’s estimated that 7 percent of households in the United States are actually “unbanked,” according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation’s 2015 National Survey of Unbanked and Underbanked Households.
Amazon might be trying to appeal to the unbanked demographic in order to get them online shopping just like everybody else, but it might also be rolling out Amazon Cash to keep up with competitors like PayPal and Walmart.
PayPal already has a cash payment option that works just like Amazon Cash. People can go to CVS and deposit money directly to their online PayPal account so they can make online purchases. Walmart on the other hand, has been providing payment alternatives and checking accounts for the unbanked for the past couple years
Amazon Cash is already available in the U.S. and customers can retrieve their barcode by going on the Amazon website.