Amazon has today launched Amazon Cash, a new service that will allow users to make purchases without a bank card. The scheme, which is only currently available in the US, permits customers to show participating retailers a barcode, from which money is instantly added to their Amazon account. Purchases between $15 and $500 will be covered under the service.
Amazon Cash is currently available with seven online brands: CVS; Speedway; Kum & Go; D&W Fresh Market; Sheetz; Family Care and VG’s Grocery. More retailers will be announced soon, according to a statement on the company’s website.
Amazon Cash is aimed at those who do not usually make purchases online–or those who are un- or under-banked. According to a 2105 Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) report, approximately 7%, or 24.5 million, American households are currently underbanked.
Bringing in these customers, who make almost all purchases with cash, has become a core component of major online retailers’ strategies in recent years. PayPal entered the fray recently with its PayPal My Cash Card, while Uber and other ride sharing companies have needed to cater to cash payments in developing territories, such as India.
That is likely why Amazon’s first cache of retailers are large, popular and have a ‘family’ or ‘traditional’ brand reputation. Expert the service to be widened vastly in the coming months.