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MediaPost reports that Amazon has “quietly launched Amazon Cash, a service that allows consumers to purchase products on Amazon without having to use a debit or credit card … There will be two different ways to add cash to an Amazon account. At participating stores, shoppers can either scan their barcode at the cashier or kiosk or use their mobile number to identify their Amazon account, then add cash.”

The move, the story says, is designed to appeal to the 32.6 million households in the U.S. that either don’t use banking services or make limited use of them; the story also suggests that this is an effort by Amazon to appeal more to “African-American and Hispanic consumers, who just so happen to be the most likely ethnic groups to be unbanked, according to an FDIC study.

“Several factors impact this disparity, including lower average household incomes as well as a distrust of financial institutions. Amazon’s message to these consumer groups, however, is loud and clear: ‘being unbanked or underbanked should not be a barrier to using our service’.”

Bricks-and-mortar chains participating in the Amazon Cash program include CVS, GameStop, and 7-Eleven.
KC's View:
The move by Amazon to better serve the unbanked and under-banked is just part of its broader competition with Walmart, which always has had a strong connection to that part of the community.