business news in context, analysis with attitude

CNBC reports that checkout-free Amazon Go stores will begin taking cash, “amid intensifying criticism that the company is discriminating against the unbanked.”

The shift will require what Amazon calls “additional payment mechanisms” still to be installed; Amazon already has created some new payment systems for its e-commerce site, including “a pilot that accepts government subsidized SNAP benefits and a new program called Amazon Cash, which lets users add cash to their digital accounts by bringing money to a local store like 7-Eleven or CVS.”

CNBC notes that “Philadelphia last month became the first major U.S. city to ban cashless stores despite Amazon’s reported attempt to block the law. The state of New Jersey followed a couple weeks later, and cities like New York, San Francisco and Chicago are considering similar laws. Massachusetts has had a law in place for decades requiring stores to accept cash.”
KC's View:
The story points out that there have been reports - though I might be more inclined to call it speculation - that Amazon would like to have as many as 3,000 Go stores. If so, it has to figure out a way to deal with this situation … there are some real issues at work here, as well as some perception issues.