Amazon Cash, the service that lets consumers add cash to their Amazon.com balance at brick-and-mortar retailers, is now available at nearly 8,000 7-Eleven convenience stores, the companies announced today. That’s a significant expansion for Amazon Cash, which was previously available at retailers like CVS, Speedway and GameStop, along with a handful of other supermarket chains and convenience stores.
The service is still relatively new to Amazon, having first launched this April as a way to better serve the under-banked and un-banked U.S. customer base.
Though it may seem counterintuitive for retailers to try to reach the “cash customer,” they’re still a sizable chunk of the market. According to an FDIC report from 2015, this demographic accounts for 27 percent of consumers. And these customers may not be regularly shopping online, due to the need to use credit or debit cards at checkout.
If they wanted to buy from Amazon in the past, they would have to buy an Amazon Gift Card in a designated amount or add cash to prepaid payment cards, to be used at checkout.
But online shopping shouldn’t be difficult, or a luxury only available to the middle class and higher. After all, online stores will often have better deals than their brick-and-mortar counterparts, and customers can save money that would otherwise be spent on gas or bus fare by ordering online.
Allowing customers to use cash to pay is only one way retailers are targeting this market. Both Walmart and Amazon this year made it easier for customers on government assistance to shop their sites and use their services, too.
To use Amazon Cash at a 7-Eleven, customers present a personalized barcode found in their Amazon app to the cashier along with the money they want to load. The barcode also can be sent via a text, or printed. The cashier then scans the barcode, which immediately adds the funds to the customer’s account balance on Amazon.com.
Customers can load between $15 and $500 in a single transaction, with no fees.
Amazon’s expansion of its cash service to 7-Eleven represents another tie-up between the two retailers.
7-Eleven has already been working with Amazon to offer Amazon Lockers for package delivery. The bright yellow lockers were first installed in stores in Seattle and Manhattan, and are now available in select stores in more than 300 cities.
7-Eleven also carries Amazon prepaid gift cards in denominations from $25 to $500.
“7-Eleven has long been an advocate for giving customers many options on how to pay for products and services,” said Tony Stapleton, 7-Eleven senior product director, in a statement. “7-Eleven constantly updates and introduces new forms of payments to respond to continued shifts in customer preferences, lifestyles, and adoption of new technologies.”
7-Eleven operates, franchises or licenses 10,900 stores in the U.S. and Canada, so this launch covers a majority of 7-Eleven’s U.S. footprint. Amazon Cash is available at 7-Eleven starting today.