Futuristic Amazon Go stores to accept old-school cash

Amazon Go stores heralded a future of cashless and cashier-free stores that prompted retailers around the world to assess the future of their physical units and payment methods in-store. But the retail behemoth is to back-track and likely go old school by accepting cash as it comes under pressure for discriminating against people who are ‘unbanked’ and only use cash.

Amazon is reported to have revealed the decision at an internal meeting where Steve Kessel, senior vice president at Amazon, told employees that the company is to introduce additional payment methods at its Go stores.

Among the new payment methods the company has introduced to its website is Amazon Cash that lets people add cash to their digital accounts by taking money to a local store including 7-Eleven and CVS.  Such methods could be extended into the physical Go stores, according to Keppel.

Amazon currently operates 10 Go stores and is understood to be planning to open many more but it has faced a growing backlash from some States in the US including Philadelphia and New Jersey who have banned cashless stores. Others including New York City and San Francisco are considering their positions.

As the use of electronic payments accelerates – card transactions outweighed cash payments for the first time in the UK in 2017 – the issue of how people without bank accounts are being discriminated against has risen up the agenda across the globe including in the UK.