According to a recent study by the FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation), 7% of the US population does not have a bank account1. The same study also found that an additional 20% of Americans are “underbanked”, meaning they have a bank account, but routinely use services such as check cashing, money transfers, payday loans, and pawnshops for their day to day cash needs. Given this data, how can online retailers reach this untapped market? Amazon has decided to target this group of cash-only consumers with the introduction of Amazon Cash.

What is Amazon Cash?

Individuals who typically make their purchases with cash can find it challenging to buy online without using a debit or credit card. As stated earlier, many consumers don’t have a bank account, while others are simply distrustful of banks or choose not to share their personal information. Amazon realized this group of spenders makes up a huge untapped market. Always innovating, the online retail giant developed the Amazon Cash program to address this group’s unique needs.

Amazon Cash allows consumers to add cash to their Amazon account with a simple two-step process. First, the consumer downloads a barcode to his or her phone or simply prints it out from a computer. He then presents the barcode to a cashier at a participating retailer along with his cash. The money is applied directly to his Amazon account and is immediately available to use for online purchases. Best of all, Amazon doesn’t apply any additional fees for using the service.

Consumers can add between $15 and $500 to their account in each Amazon Cash transaction. Participating retailers include CVS, Speedway, Sheetz, Kum & Go, D&W Fresh Market, Family Fare Supermarkets, and VG’s Grocery. Amazon hopes to add even more retailers in the near future. A single barcode can be reused any time a customer wants to add more cash to his Amazon account. The barcode can be added to the Wallet app on iOS or saved as shortcut on Android devices.

How Can Retailers Keep Additional Cash Secure?

By partnering with Amazon, retailers will benefit from increased traffic by catering to this market segment. As the program becomes more popular, they will also need a way to securely manage the large influx of cash they will likely realize. And that’s where Tidel can help.

Tidel is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of cash management systems and robbery deterrent products for the retail industry. The company offers solutions that allow retailers to secure, automate, and streamline their cash environment. Tidel cash management solutions, such as the Tidel Series 4 smart safe, can be found in convenience stores, quick serve restaurants and retail stores all over the United States. In short, the company helps retailers account for, and manage, their cash in an automated and secure fashion.

One thing is certain: cash isn’t going anywhere soon. With the introduction of Amazon Cash, Amazon has developed a brilliant strategy to reach this market segment. The brick and mortar partners within the Amazon Cash program will also benefit, as they now have a new way to service these customers. To take the best advantage of this program, however, these retailers would benefit from getting ahead of the potential new influx of cash into their stores. Investing in a smart safe is a great way to start.

To learn more about our cash management solutions, contact us today!

1 http://fortune.com/2016/09/08/unbanked-americans-fdic/

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