Amazon Go was launched as a store with no checkout required. Those who wished to shop there needed to put the Amazon Go app on their smartphone. Pick up the items you want to buy, and pay for it with your phone.
What if you don’t have a smartphone, or don’t want to put any more apps on your phone? You wouldn’t be able to shop for groceries and quick-to-eat items at Amazon Go stores. This limitation is about to change.
CNBC reported that Amazon Go stores will start accepting cash. In addition, there is a pilot program that will allow Amazon Go stores to accept government subsidized SNAP benefits. Another program, called Amazon Cash, will let users add cash to their digital accounts by bringing money to a local store like 7-Eleven or CVS.
Why did Amazon change their payment policy at Amazon Go stores? The reason appears to have something to do with cities and states that felt the limitation on what kind of payment the stores would accept was discriminatory. Cashless stores exclude people from the lowest income brackets.
Philadelphia and New Jersey have banned cashless stores. Cities like New York, San Francisco, and Chicago are considering similar laws. Massachusetts had a law in place for decades that requires stores to accept cash.
Not all of the details about this change have been revealed. It appears that Amazon Go stores will be accepting a variety of payment options soon. That’s great for people who do not have a bank account, and those who need to use the SNAP program in order to afford groceries.
There are a total of 10 Amazon Go stores that have opened. Amazon is considering opening up to 3,000 cashierless Amazon Go stores by 2021. There could be an Amazon Go store opening up near where you live!