Amazon Cash service launched for those fearful of online fraud

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It would seem that Amazon is seeking to reassure people who don’t want to put their credit or debit card online but do want to use Amazon to shop. Billed as Amazon Cash, shoppers in the US can now go to local stores and charge up their account with cash money that they can then spend on Amazon.

Here’s how it works. The shopper signs up to Amazon and gets a special barcode that they can print out or store on their phone. The shopper then goes to a participating physical store such CVS, VG’s Grocery, Sheetz or D&W Fresh Market. They hand over the cash, it’s applied to their account and that money can then be spent as an Amazon balance. In practice, it’s not so very different to buying an Amazon Gift card.

As Amazon says of the system: “Amazon Cash lets you add cash to your Amazon Balance at thousands of participating convenience, grocery, and drug stores by purchasing and automatically claiming an Amazon.com Gift Card to your account. To use, visit a participating store, show the cashier your barcode to scan, and then pay the amount you want to add to your Amazon Balance. It’s simple, quick, and there are no fees. Your Amazon Balance can be used to shop for millions of eligible physical products and digital content.”

As it stands, this service is currently only available in the US, but when it comes to Amazon what starts stateside does tend to come to Europe.

Doubtless Amazon don’t approach any such situation, and provide a solution, without ascertaining there is a problem that needs addressing. But it does seem odd that there are a great many people who are so scared that putting this system in place is worth their while. That said, it’s just a tweaking of the Gift Card system and Amazon will be keen to eke out all value from every consumer. It’s also useful for those people who don’t have cards at all. And also kids and young people who might not have cards too.

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