No credit card, no debit card? No problem! Amazon is an online juggernaut without a large brick-and-mortar presence, so cash isn’t something that the company typically handles directly when interacting with customers. In order to expand its reach to customers that pay primarily in cash, the company is launching Amazon Cash.
The service works by providing customers with a barcode (which can be obtained from the Amazon Cash website), which can then be presented at participating retailers. Once a cashier scans the barcode, the customer can add cash in increments ranging from $15 to $500, after which the money is deposited directly into their online Amazon balance.
Customers with Android- or iOS-based smartphones can simply present the barcode on your phone, or if you don’t have a smartphone, you can print out the barcode for scanning purposes. Amazon says that daily limits may apply when adding cash to your account, but that those restrictions will vary by retailer.
Currently, Amazon has partnered with CVS Pharmacy, Speedway, Sheetz, Kum & Go, D&W Fresh Market, Family Fare Supermarkets, and VG's Grocery for Amazon Cash. More retailers are expected to sign on in the future, and you can see the full list of partners as they are added here.
This is just another way for Amazon to reach the 7 percent of U.S. households that are “unbanked” and the 19.9 percent of households that are “underbanked”. Customers previously could have just bought an Amazon gift card at a brick-and-mortar store and added the balance to their online Amazon account, but Amazon Cash is a slightly more elegant solution.