Amazon recently launched “Amazon Cash
”, a service that allows customers to load cash on their online account instead of linking it to a bank card. With this new offer, Amazon aims to give access to its services to people who do not own a bank account or are not used to digital payments. According to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), about 27% of Americans are unbanked.
Amazon Cash will be available at various retailers across the US including CVS Pharmacy, Speedway and Family Fare Supermarkets. To load money on their account, customers simply need to show a barcode to the cashier – printed or in their smartphone – and choose the amount they want to add. Up to $500 can be charged at a time. The uploaded funds are available for online purchases instantly, without a fee.
Amazon’s cash option is already applied by PayPal and Walmart, which also offer customers a similar barcode system to settle payments. Beyond shopping, PayNearMe
gives unbanked citizens the opportunity to pay their bills with cash at local retailers.
According to a survey carried out by The Nielsen Company, in 2015, 36% of online shoppers used cash on delivery to make purchases within six months of the survey. Cash on delivery is an even more popular choice in India (83%) and many other markets, including Nigeria (76%), the Philippines (73%), Russia (70%), United Arab Emirates (68%), Saudi Arabia (59%), Colombia (57%), Poland (57%) and Thailand (56%). The figure is lowest in North America, at only 11%, however that is enough for Walmart to accept cash for online orders.