Amazon is bringing a cash-based checkout option, Amazon PayCode, to the U.S.

TechCrunch | 9/18/2019 | Staff
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Amazon is making it easier for customers to pay with cash for their online purchases. The retailer today announced the U.S. arrival of Amazon PayCode, a new checkout option that will allow online shoppers to pay for Amazon.com purchases at one of 15,000 Western Union locations. Separately from this, Amazon said that its Amazon Cash service, which lets you load cash into an Amazon account, is now offered at over 100,000 cash-loading locations across the U.S.

Prior to today, PayCode was available in 19 countries around the world, including emerging markets where paying with cash is more common and bank account penetration is lower than in the U.S. or Europe.

Service - Year - Partnership - Western - Union

The service itself launched earlier this year in partnership with Western Union, and was initially available in 10 markets: Chile, Colombia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Kenya, Malaysia, Peru, Philippines, Taiwan, and Thailand. It has since expanded to Barbados, Costa Rica, Federated States of Micronesia, Kazakhstan, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Palau, Kenya, Tanzania, and Uruguay.

Instead of using a bank card to pay for online purchases, shoppers can instead choose the PayCode option at checkout on Amazon.com. They then receive a QR code they could take to a Western Union to pay for the items they wanted to buy.

Launch - Amazon - PayCode - Customers - Hours

At launch, Amazon said PayCode customers had 48 hours to make that payment. With its U.S. launch, that time frame narrows to 24 hours. This change is due to shorter delivery windows for U.S. customers versus cross-border customers, Amazon says, and the impact to the company’s delivery promises.

While the U.S. is a more developed market and less in need of supporting cash-based payments, cash still has a big foothold here. Amazon, citing data from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, noted that 39% of in-person payments continue to be made using cash, for example.

Past - Amazon

In the past, Amazon...
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