Amazon Go stores, which allow shoppers make purchases without a cashier checkout experience, will reportedly begin accepting cash.
The move, according to CNBC, is related to potential discrimination issues which are increasingly being heard with the advent of cashierless commerce.
Several states and legislative bodies have proposed banning cashierless retail operations citing concerns that it is discriminatory against unbanked consumers who do not have access to mobile and online banking services. A 2017 FDIC report stated that the unbanked account for 6.5 percent of U.S. households.
As Mobile Payments Today previously reported, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy signed legislation that requires retailers and restaurants to accept cash, effectively banning merchants in the state from joining a cashless trend emerging in markets across the U.S. Philadelphia officials also approved a bill to force retailers to accept cash.
CNBC said that Steve Kessel, who oversees Amazon’s physical store operations, announced during an all-hands company meeting in April that Amazon Go stores will add “additional payment mechanisms.” CNBC said that it had confirmed the cash payment move via an email with an Amazon spokesperson.
Amazon has already launched Amazon Cash, which lets shoppers add funds to digital accounts via local stores, as well as a pilot involving the acceptance of government subsidy benefit programs, CNBC reported.
Amazon operates 10 Go stores and is planning to open several thousand within the next few years, according to a Bloomberg report.
“We’re in earlier days but it’s an important focus for us and we’ll continue to extend those methods with our stores,” Kessel said in the all-hands meeting, a recording of which was heard by CNBC.