Amazon Go smart stores, which allow customers to buy items without having to go through the usual ATMs, will begin to accept cash, amid intense criticism of the company for discriminating against the unbanked.
At an internal meeting held last month, Steve Kessel, Amazon’s senior vice president of physical stores, told employees that the company plans “additional payment mechanisms” at its Go stores.
The issue all around “discrimination”
Kessel was responding to a question about how the US company plans to address “discrimination and elitism” in non-teller stores, which charge purchases through an application connected to a bank or credit card.
The Amazon employee highlighted some of the new payment methods that the company owned by Jeff Bezos has recently added to his site, including a pilot program that accepts SNAP subsidies subsidized by the government and a new program called Amazon Cash, which allows Users add cash to their digital accounts by taking money to a local store such as 7-Eleven or CVS.
The Amazon Go Stores
There are currently 10 Amazon Go stores, and according to Bloomberg, the e-commerce giant is considering opening up to 3,000 stores without a cashier by 2021.
Accepting cash could help reduce criticism that Amazon’s cashless model does not serve a significant portion of US households, while expanding Amazon Go’s customer base.
Is cash getting more expansion?
More and more cities and states are enacting laws that require stores to accept cash to serve people who do not have banking services, and who represent 6.5 percent (approximately 8.4 million). ) of US households
An Amazon spokesperson confirmed to CNBC Kessel’s comments and the company’s plan to accept cash at Go stores, but declined to provide further details. The spokesperson described the process as “you will make the payment, pay in cash and then get your change.”
“We are working to accept cash at Amazon Go” said spokesman.