According to CNBC, Amazon director Steve Kessel told staff at a recent all-hands meeting that the company's brick-and-mortar cashier-less Amazon Go stores would start accepting "additional payment mechanisms" to combat charges for discrimination.
An Amazon spokesman later told CNBC that these extra mechanisms included accepting money. "You want to check out, pay with cash, and then get your change," said the spokesman.
Recently, Philadelphia and New Jersey have adopted laws that prohibit cashless stores, on the grounds that they discriminate more than eight million US households who do not have access to debit or credit cards, often due to poverty. Lawmakers also said that cashless stores unnecessarily refuse customers the opportunity to make their purchases private. New York City and San Francisco have considered different rules. Cashless stores have been illegal in Massachusetts since the 1
Kessel, Amazon's senior vice president of physical stores, told employees at the very best meeting that the company is currently running two pilot programs to expand how Amazon Go accepts payment. The first involves accepting published SNAP benefits. The second pilot program is called Amazon Cash, and it "allows users to add money to their digital accounts by bringing money to a local store like 7-Eleven or CVS," according to CNBC. (Such a program can help serve the unbanked, but it probably won't interfere with privacy guard.)
Ars emailed Amazon to clarify whether an app like Amazon Cash would be needed to shop at an Amazon Go store and we will update if we receive an answer. How Amazon can reorganize its Amazon Go stores to support an exchange of actual dollars is still unclear. Amazon has remained the mother of exactly how the camera tracking system works, let alone track customers who do not scan a barcode when they enter.
Amazon has not provided a timeframe where it can incorporate cash acceptances into its stores.