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Most people reading this will have shopped online. And most will have bought at least one item from Amazon. The online retailer is so omnipresent at this point it’s hard to see how anyone could have avoided its reach. However, it turns out Amazon isn’t as ubiquitous as it may seem.
Some people don’t have the tools to shop online. By that we mean a bank account, a debit card, or a credit card. They get paid in cash, and pay bills and buy groceries using that same cash. Which is bad for Amazon. And the reason the online retailer has now launched Amazon Cash.
Shop Online Using Amazon
Amazon Cash offers a way of shopping online on Amazon using cash. All you need to do is visit Amazon.com/cash from your smartphone to retrieve your Amazon Cash barcode. You show this barcode to a participating retailer, and you can then pay between $15 and $500 into your Amazon account.
Amazon isn’t charging any fees for Amazon Cash, which means any cash being spent at the online retailer is worth just as much as elsewhere. It’s also reaching out to those who don’t own smartphones, as you can print your barcode out at home and take a physical copy of it to a participating retailer.
Participating retailers include CVS Pharmacy, Speedway, Sheetz, Kum & Go, D&W Fresh Market, Family Fare Supermarkets, and VG’s Grocery, with Amazon promising more will be added in the future. It’s unlikely the big-box retailers will want to get involved though, for obvious reasons.
Cash Customers Are People Too
As someone who has shopped online for over a decade this is an important reminder that not everybody has had the pleasure. This isn’t a small number of people either, with TechCrunch suggesting that up to 27 percent of consumers are “cash customers” or, to put it another way, “unbanked”.
Amazon Cash is available right now in the United States through Amazon.com/cash.
Do you shop on Amazon? Or are you one of the unbanked Amazon is hoping to reach? Do you like the idea of Amazon Cash? Or is it a little too convoluted to work? Are bricks-and-mortar stores signing their own death warrants here? Please let us know in the comments below!
Image Credit: Damian Gadal via Flickr