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BezosBux: Amazon gets into scrip game with Cash scheme

Payment system lets punters use quaint concept of 'paper money'

Amazon has introduced a payment system that will let customers buy its products without the need for a bank card.

The Amazon Cash system is partnering with brick and mortar retailers to collect cash payments from customers, which are then credited towards an Amazon account. The funds can be used to make purchases on Amazon, eliminating the need for customers to give their bank card numbers at checkout.

In order to deposit money to an account, the customer must scan a barcode connected with their account. Those who have an Amazon account and an iPhone or Android handset with the Amazon mobile app can generate the code on their devices. Alternatively, the barcode can be printed at home on paper.

Once the barcode has been scanned, the cash is converted into an Amazon gift card that is credited to the customer's account. Amazon notes that though the deposited cash is considered a gift card, there are no extra fees charged for the transaction.

"Funds are available immediately after the cashier hands you a receipt for your transaction," Amazon says.

"We will send a confirmation notification to the email address or phone number registered to the account. If you have Amazon's Mobile App notifications enabled, you will receive a push notification confirming your transaction."

By eliminating the need to use a bank card for purchases, Amazon Cash could have a particular appeal to teens and adults without bank accounts, security-conscious consumers wary of handing over their account details, and those who, ahem… may not want to leave a paper trail of their financial activities.

Amazon, meanwhile, benefits from one of the few retail sectors (cash only payments) it has not yet tapped, and the stores themselves benefit from the additional foot traffic brought in by people looking to deposit money to their Amazon accounts.

The stores Amazon has signed up to be launch partners for the service are CVS Pharmacy, Family Fare Supermarkets, D&W Fresh Market, VG's Grocery, Kum & Go, Speedway and Sheets. ®

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