Guess Who Launched Amazon Cash?

The service allows customers to buy on Amazon without a debit or credit card.

February 08, 2019

SEATTLE – With the debut of Amazon Cash, Amazon wants to capture a piece of the 32.6 million U.S. households that have limited banking services (underbanked) or no banking accounts (unbanked), Media Post/Marketing Insider reports.

With Amazon Cash, customers can buy products on Amazon without using a credit or debit card. At stores, consumers can use their mobile number of scan a barcode at checkout or at a kiosk to connect with their Amazon account to add cash.

Amazon is hoping to connect with these underbanked and unbanked, which make up a quarter (25.2%) of the U.S. population—and more likely to be Hispanic and African-American, according to an FDIC study. Amazon wants these consumer groups to know that “being unbanked or underbanked should not be a barrier to using our service.”

Stores picked to participate in the Amazon Cash program include 7-Eleven, GameStop and CVS Pharmacy, and the partnerships appear to show Amazon’s strategy in reaching those ethnic groups. For example, for 7-Eleven, “Convenience, location, and price tend to dominate African-Americans’ shopping channel decisions, which is why they over-index for shopping at both the higher-priced but location-driven convenience stores and gas and service stations,” Media Post/Marketing Insider wrote, adding:

“Similarly, Hispanics are more likely to be daily shoppers of convenience stores than shoppers of other ethnicities. Hispanic consumers are also more likely than the general market to shop inside the convenience store for merchandise or food service items [daily].”

Read how convenience retailers are embracing more digital and onsite services in the May 2018 NACS Magazine cover story, “Pushing the Boundaries.”