Facing backlash from those who say cashless stores discriminate against the poor and unbanked, Amazon will soon accept cash at its automated stores. 6.5% of U.S. households (or 8.4 million) are considered unbanked. Without credit cards or bank accounts, those people are unable to shop at cashless stores. Amazon currently operates 10 cash-free Amazon Go convenience stores…and there are more on the way. Bloomberg reported last fall the company could open as many as 3,000 Amazon Go stores by 2021.
But the political winds are changing. Earlier this spring, both the city of Philadelphia and the state of New Jersey passed laws that’ll require retailers to take cash. There’s no timeline for when Amazon will begin accepting in its locations. But this is a major strategic shift for Amazon’s brick-and-mortar plans, which were built almost exclusively around being cash- and cashier-free.
—Michael Levine (best-selling author and media expert) www.MichaelLevineMedia.com