Amazon will accept cash at Amazon Go stores in the future, according to CNBC. The plan is part of an effort to address concerns that the checkout-free automated stores could discriminate against shoppers who lack bank accounts or credit cards.
The effort would allow Amazon Go stores to open in states and cities that have banned cashless stores, including Massachusetts, New Jersey and Philadelphia, and prevent potential problems in places that are considering similar regulations, including New York, San Francisco and Chicago. The retail giant had earlier threatened to scrap plans for a Philadelphia Amazon Go store in response to the city’s law.
While Amazon has confirmed the plans, the company has yet to release details on how such transactions will be handled, or the expected timeline for adopting the system. There are currently 10 Amazon Go stores, and the retailer may open as many as 3,000 by 2021.
Amazon hasn’t just been expanding payment options for physical stores — shoppers without credit or debit cards can now make purchases on Amazon.com through Amazon Cash, a program that lets them add money to their digital accounts at physical stores like 7-Eleven or CVS. Amazon also is piloting a program that will allow the e-Commerce site to accept SNAP benefits.