Amazon has added an offline payment choice to allow non-credit card and other underbanked consumers to add cash to their Amazon balances.
Customers can get an Amazon Cash barcode sent via SMS to their smartphone, present the barcode to a cashier at a participating retailer, and choose any amount between $15 and $500 to add to their account.
When the cashier scans the barcode, the customer gets an online Amazon gift card online for the balance amount. Currently there is no charge to consumers for the service.
Amazon has seven retailers, including CVS Pharmacy, Speedway, Sheetz, Kum & Go, D&W Fresh Market, Family Fare Supermarkets, and VG’s Grocery, participating as payment locations. CVS Pharmacy is also a payment partner for PayPal’s offline payments program, PayPal My Cash Card.
Earlier this year, Amazon and PayPal were in talks to add PayPal as a payment method for Amazon users.
In 2012, Walmart announced its own buy online/pay in store option. Customers choosing to pay with cash for an online order have their order shipped once they pay in store.
Non-credit card users are important to e-Commerce retailers, as Millennials fundamentally distrust credit. According to Affirm, 65% of Millennials have actual fear of debt and 63% don’t have a credit card.