On Monday, the internet retailer launched Amazon Cash, a new service that allows customers to add hard-earned dollars to their account at participating brick-and-mortar retailers.
While this concept may not be as futuristic as Amazon's other ideas, such as delivery drones, Amazon Cash could help the company reach a broader audience. All you have to do is drop into a CVS Pharmacy, D&W Fresh Market, Family Fare, Kum & Go, Speedway, Sheetz, or VG Grocery and add money to your account.
Amazon Cash lets you add cash to your Amazon Balance at thousands of participating convenience, grocery, and drug stores by purchasing and automatically claiming an Amazon.com Gift Card to your account. The cashier adds that cash to your Amazon balance. The barcode that is generated can also be saved to the user's digital wallet (for iOS users) and added as a shortcut to the home screen (for Android users). Amazon Cash appears to be a service partially aimed at those customers, by allowing them to make purchases on the site with cash.
More broadly, the service could appeal to anyone who just wants to deposit some cash in their Amazon.com account, without hassle.
The service is free to use, and single transactions must be between $15 and $500.
"Amazon's service is open to anyone who has a mobile phone", said Richard Crone, a payments consultant, adding the system adds authentication via the phone credentials, the Amazon log in and the consumer showing his or her phone at the retailer. A 2015 national survey by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation determined that 7 percent of US households, some 9 million, did not have bank accounts at an insured banking institution.
With Amazon Cash, customers don't need credit or gift cards to make purchases online. -- Does Amazon Cash cost anything to use? This barcode can be used every time you want to use Amazon Cash and there is no need to generate a new code each time. At any time, you can also view your Amazon Balance activity under Your Account. Amazon gives users the option to have the barcode text messaged to their smartphones or printed out.