Why it matters to you
If you’ve ever wished you could pay for goods and services on Amazon in cash, good news: Now you can. 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.
If you stop in a CVS Pharmacy, Speedway, Sheetz, Kum & Co, G&W Fresh Market, Family Fare Supermarket, VG’s Grocery, or the one of the other more than 10,000 participating retailers, you’ll be able to take advantage by heading to a register. Once you’ve pulled up Amazon Cash by navigating to Amazon.com/cash or searching for “amazon cash” (without quotes) in the Amazon mobile app, you’ll get a reusable bar code that can be added to the Wallet app on iOS or as a home screen shortcut on Android. Hand the cashier the bar code and the amount of cash you want to deposit (between $15 and $500 in a single transaction), and you’re good to go.
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Money added via Amazon Cash is available as soon as you checkout at the register — you’ll be alerted with an email, text, and push notification. There aren’t any fees, and the funds can be used anywhere on Amazon’s site. You can check your balance by heading to the Manage Gift Card section of the Amazon mobile app.
Previously, adding cash to an Amazon balance wasn’t easy. You’d have to buy an Amazon Gift Card in a designated amount or add cash to a prepaid balance card.
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Amazon’s after a demographic that’s wary of forking debit and credit card information over online. As many as 85 percent of all transactions globally (and 40 percent in the United States) are carried out in cash, particularly transactions involving small amounts of money. And according to researchers at IDC, so-called “cash customers” account for 27 percent of consumers.
The retailer’s not the first to target the market. In April 2016, PayPal added the ability to deposit cash at CVS, Rite Aid, and 7-Eleven locations via the mobile app for Android and iOS. Unlike Amazon, though, PayPal charged a $4 deposit fee for the privilege.