Amazon has introduced a payment system to let shoppers in the US make purchases without the need for a bank card.
Dubbed Amazon Cash, the service lets consumers add money to their account balance by scanning a barcode on a smartphone screen or printed on paper at participating physical stores.
The current list of retailers offering the service includes D&W Fresh Market, CVS Pharmacy, Speedway, Sheetz and Kum & Go. Customers can add anything between $15 to $500 in any single Amazon Cash transaction, and funds are available immediately after the deposit.
While the move may seem unusual as consumers move towards a cashless society, the play could have particular appeal to teens and adults without bank accounts and will benefit stores in terms of additional foot traffic brought in by Amazon shoppers.
According to a 2015 report from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), "cash customer" households – ie those without bank accounts – represents around 7% of US consumers.
Amazon has has targeted less financially established customers previously, with its grocery delivery offering announcing it would accept food stamps as part of a pilot program earlier this year.