'Amazon Cash' Lets Cardless Users Add Funds to Their Accounts With App-Based Cash Transfers

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Amazon today announced a new way for its users to add funds to their Amazon accounts, called Amazon Cash. By visiting a participating retailer, Amazon users will be able to show a barcode to a cashier, choose an amount between $15 and $500, and pay the amount in cash to see it transferred digitally and able to be spent on Amazon.com.

As TechCrunch reported, Amazon Cash is aimed at "cash customers" who don't shop online as consistently as everyone else, including people who are paid in cash, who don’t have a bank account or debit card, and who don’t use credit cards. The entire process doesn't require any sort of fee to be paid by the user.

This "cash customer" (the unbanked or "underbanked") accounts for around 27 percent of consumers, said a 2015 report from the FDIC.

While they may have money to spend online at times, there isn’t an easy way to do so. Until today, they would have to buy an Amazon Gift Card in a designated amount or add cash to prepaid payment cards, to be used at checkout.

More broadly, the service could appeal to anyone who just wants to deposit some cash in their Amazon.com account, without hassle.

These customers will be able to use the Amazon iOS and Android app to bring up their unique Amazon Cash barcode, which will be reused any time they want to add more money to their account. After telling the cashier how much they want added and scanning the barcode, the customer pays at the register with cash and the amount instantly appears in their Amazon account. Confirmation of the money's arrival will be sent to users via email, text, or push notification.

Amazon Cash will even let users print out their unique barcode at home and bring it into the store in lieu of using a smartphone. Those who have a smartphone with a cracked screen are also recommended to print out the barcode instead of using their phone.

Participating U.S. stores at launch include: CVS Pharmacy, Speedway, Kum & Go, D&W Fresh Market, Sheetz, Family Fare Supermarkets, and VG’s Grocery, with more coming soon. The service is launching now across the U.S.

Tag: Amazon

Top Rated Comments

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47 months ago
Amazon.... what we really want is an app for the Apple TV
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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47 months ago

Talk with Apple, all indications are that they are preventing Amazon from putting an App on Apple TV.



No they are not. Amazon is free to port the same app available on iOS devices to tvOS at anytime. This was all Amazon's decision. And they went even further to banning Apple TV sales even from private sellers.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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47 months ago

I don't get it. What makes this different than just buying an Amazon gift card with cash, then adding the gift card to your account?

1. It's available in denominations other than $15, $25, $50, or $100. Important to these cash-only customers where a little bit matters.
2. It's added immediately so there's no risk of loss between buying and redeeming.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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47 months ago

I suppose for a very few people this might be useful. Always nice to have options I suppose! But I don't think I'll ever be using this feature.

I can imagine this would be big in developing countries, where people don't yet keep their money in bank accounts, but they have cell phones.

Essentially, Amazon is becoming a sort of bank for them... except the only way you can withdraw the money is by getting a product.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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47 months ago
I don't get it. What makes this different than just buying an Amazon gift card with cash, then adding the gift card to your account?
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
47 months ago

I can imagine this would be big in developing countries, where people don't yet keep their money in bank accounts, but they have cell phones.

Essentially, Amazon is becoming a sort of bank for them... except the only way you can withdraw the money is by getting a product.

This would also be useful kids or teens without their own credit/debit cards or if they wanted to buy things behind their parents' backs.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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