Amazon is on a mission to bring e-commerce to all — and now it’s making it even easier for shoppers who may not have a credit card or bank account to order online.
On Wednesday, the company announced a partnership with Coinstar that will allow Amazon Cash customers to load funds to their accounts at any of thousands of kiosks around the country. Since launching the program, Amazon has rolled out similar deals with 7-Eleven, CVS and GameStop, providing incentives to first-time customers with offers of bonus credit (for instance, if you add at least $30 to your balance at 7-Eleven, you’ll get an extra $7.11).
About 5,000 Coinstar kiosks will be enabled to accept Amazon Cash by the end of the year, according to a press release, and the rollout is already underway at select grocery stores in the Northeast.
The kiosks accept between $15 and $500 at a time, and customers use the mobile phone number connected to their Amazon account to add cash to their balance.
The partnership is the latest move by the e-commerce giant to attract lower-income shoppers — particularly those who might otherwise shop at Walmart, and the unbanked and underbanked population, which according to the FDIC’s most recent survey numbered 33.5 million households. It has also begun offering discounted Prime memberships to EBT and Medicaid card holders and is testing a program to offer SNAP benefits. Its foray into financial services is also reported to include offering checking accounts in partnership with a major bank, although the company has yet to confirm those plans.
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