bye-bye bank card!
Amazon has launched a way to shop its site without a bank card. A new service called Amazon Cash, allows consumers to inject cash into their Amazon.com balance. It is a fee-free service that is simple to manage.
This service allows an Amazon customer to have an individual barcode scanned at a participating retailer, and then the customer can have cash immediately applied to their Amazon account. The service will allow between $15.00 and $500.00 to be added to their Amazon account in a single transaction.
You will be able to make cash deposits onto your Amazon Cash account at the following major retailers across the nation:
- Kum & Go
- VB’s Grocery
- CVS Pharmacy
- D&W Fresh Market
- Family Fare Supermarkets
Other participating retail stores will be added in the future as the Amazon Cash program grows.
Similar to PayPal…
Amazon Cash is meant to appeal to the same general demographic of clients who currently use PayPal My Cash Card. However, Amazon’s new service is also designed to appeal to those who may not yet be shopping online and who also get paid in cash, don’t have a bank account or debit card and who don’t use credit cards.
A 2015 report from the FDIC indicated that “cash customers,” account for approximately 27 percent of consumers in the U.S. today. While these consumers may not have a great deal of disposable income to spend at times, when they do have that extra cash, they need an effective way to make it available for online shopping.
It is expected that from a broader position, the new Amazon Cash service could appeal to anyone who just wants to deposit some cash in their Amazon.com account with less hassle. Of course, one of the advantages to Amazon Cash is that as soon as you checkout at the register, the cash funds you provided are immediately available in your Amazon account. There are also no expected store fees…which set this service apart from most prepaid cards on the market.
Barcode Driven Service
Amazon Cash will not be providing “branded gift cards,” at these retail outlets. Instead, Amazon Cash clients will visit Amazon.com/cash either from their mobile device or through their normal web portal device. Once there, they will access their Amazon Cash barcode.
They will also be able to navigate to “Manage Gift Card Balance,” to find their Amazon Cash barcode. Once they have their barcode it can be used at any time (repeatedly) to have cash added to their account. The barcode can also be added to an Apple Wallet app on iOS or as a home-screen shortcut on Android.
To use the Amazon Cash program, the customer simply presents the cashier with their barcode, tells them how much cash they want to add to their account and then hands over the cash. The cashier will then scan the barcode straight from their Smartphone and deposit the cash into their cash drawer. Almost instantaneously, once the cashier enters the transaction, the funds are in the customers Amazon account!
If the customer doesn’t use a Smartphone (or their screen is cracked or damaged) they can print off the barcode at home on a piece of paper and bring that with them to the retailer to be scanned. Once the funds hit the customer’s account, they are alerted through an email or registered phone number with Amazon…..or a push notification if the Amazon mobile app is installed.
Amazon Cash Security…
It is expected that even people who do have debit cards, bank accounts and credit cards may choose to use the Amazon Cash service for security purposes. When you consider that you can load a specific amount of cash into your account without fear of someone hacking your credit or bank card information, this could be a big deal.
It also can bring added piece of mind to Amazon Sellers as they will know that charge-back requests through a bank card will not be an issue as these accounts are cash based only. There are other security advantages with regards to the Amazon Cash service that will be released in the coming months.
Strange that in a world where the trend has been towards a “cashless” society…Amazon expands the use of cash into the digital marketplace. Only time will tell if this new service will be as big a success as PayPal has become. However, our bet is that Amazon Cash will encourage new customer’s that have not been present in the digital marketplace previously to try Amazon.