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Amazon is partnering with self-service coin counting firm Coinstar to expand its cash top-up offering, Amazon Cash. Since its launch, Amazon Cash has allowed customers to visit select retailers and load their accounts at the register by showing a specialized barcode. But the new partnership, which allows customers to use just a phone number to load between $5 and $500 into their Amazon accounts, will extend the offering to 5,000 Coinstar kiosks — roughly a quarter of the firm’s total — by the end of this year.
The move could make it easier for a wider swath of customers to pay on Amazon. A large group of US consumers are all but excluded from digital commerce. About 27% of the US population is un- or underbanked, a group made up of roughly 30 million consumers. Much of this population lacks access to credit or debit cards, which makes online shopping complicated. As e-commerce becomes a more important part of day-to-day life in the US, that’s becoming increasingly problematic for these customers. And it’s also a segment that e-tailers can’t access, which is limiting business.
Amazon’s offering could be an appealing solution. These customers may often turn to prepaid cards if they want to begin shopping online, but Amazon’s solution could be a popular alternative since nearly three quarters of US adults shop on the site. And Amazon Cash is fee-free, making it cheaper than many prepaid alternatives, which could make it an easy gateway to e-commerce for users who were looped out before. Coinstar’s large reach extends that opportunity to more customers than …read more
Source:: Business Insider