Amazon Wants a Larger Share of Cash-Paying Retail Consumers

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Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) has barnstormed America and gone internationally, and it has become almost every retailer’s nightmare. Amazon is frequently referred to as the Death Star when compared to retail businesses or anything else that can remove going to a physical location. In a last-ditch effort to reach every single soul in America, now Amazon even wants to further target the consumers who only pay cash.

Amazon PayCode is joining in on the Amazon Cash effort to give customers in the United States who prefer to pay with cash another option by allowing the service to be completed in over 15,000 Western Union Co. (NYSE: WU) agent locations. According to the release, Amazon PayCode and Amazon Cash offer two options for customers who want to pay in cash with no added fees.

Amazon PayCode is said to be already available in 19 countries around the world. The company noted that purchased items will be shipped out after the cash-paying customers pay for their purchases in person at participating Western Union locations and that the service will be rolling out to customers over the coming weeks.

Amazon Cash allows customers to load cash into their Amazon Balance for making online Amazon purchases, and that is now said to be available in over 100,000 cash-loading locations in America.

One factoid that Amazon included in its release was from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco in a 2018 report. It noted that 77% of payments in the United States were made in-person and that cash accounted for 39% of the volume. Amazon also noted that about 80% of Americans live within five miles of a participating Western Union agent location.

Amazon also addressed how it will handle returned items in this mix. Customers making a return who used Amazon PayCode will receive a cash refund after the returned item is received by going to the participating Western Union agent locations.

It is hard to see whether Amazon will expect a huge boost here, but the company is certainly suggesting that it wants its piece of this portion of the retail market. Ben Volk, Director of Payments at Amazon, said:

We’re constantly innovating to improve the shopping experience on behalf of our customers, and are proud to expand Amazon Paycode to customers in the U.S. Customers have told us they love the convenience of paying in cash. Together with Western Union, we’re able to offer customers more shopping choices, enabling them to pay for their online purchases in a way that is convenient for them.

Shares of Amazon traded down fractionally at $1,812.81 in light trading volume on Wednesday morning. Its 52-week range is $1,307.00 to $2,035.80, and the Refinitiv consensus analyst target price is $2,295.36.


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