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Amazon Cash lets you use paper money and coins (sort of) to shop on its site

Amazon has launched Amazon Cash, a new way for people without credit or debit cards to use paper bills and coins to shop on its site.

Published onApril 3, 2017

Amazon is trying to make it easier for people to shop on its retail site. It already offers Amazon gift cards that can be purchased with real money at places like grocery stores, drug stores and even your local post office. Today, the retailer officially announced Amazon Cash, which lets users add money directly to their Amazon account.

While you won’t need a credit or debit card for Amazon Cash, you will need a smartphone or, at the very least, access to the internet and a printer. Here’s how it works. If you own an Android smartphone or an iPhone, you download the Amazon app and go to its barcode page. You then generate a barcode that you can then add to your home screen on your Android smartphone. If you own an iPhone, you can then select “Add to Apple Wallet” to store that barcode in your digital wallet.

You then take that phone with the barcode to one of thousands of retail locations in the US, show it to the cashier so they can scan it, and then take your cash that you want to add to your Amazon account and give it to the cashier. Once the barcode is scanned with that money, it is automatically added to your Amazon account. If, for some reason, you don’t have a smartphone, you can go to an internet connected PC, go to the Amazon Cash site, and generate your barcode from the site. It can then be printed out and used in the same way as the smartphone barcodes.

Again, this Amazon Cash barcode can already be used in thousands of locations in the US, including pharmacies, grocery stores and convenience stores like CVS, Speedway, Sheetz, Kum & Go, D&W Fresh Market, Family Fare Supermarkets, and VG’s Grocery. There is no extra charge for using this service, but there is a minimal amount of $15 in cash you will need to have to add to your account. You can go up to $500 on a single transaction, and there are also some unnamed daily limits that may vary by retailer.

This is just another way Amazon is making it easier for people who might not have a credit or debit card to shop on their site. It also offers a bit more flexibility in the amount you want to spend versus most Amazon gift cards, which have a set amount of money.

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