Amazon launched its PayCode service in the United States, making it accessible at 15,000 Western Union locations. Like Amazon Cash, the partnership allows users to shop online with cash instead of a debit or credit card.
“We’re embracing the complexity of a world where cash and digital payments are likely to coexist far into the future. We are providing easy solutions for customers who want access to the convenience of online shopping but prefer to pay in-person,” stated Khalid Fellahi, president of Consumer Money Transfer for Western Union.
With Amazon PayCode, shoppers will fill up their cart on Amazon.com as usual. During checkout, customers select PayCode for payment and receive a QR code. They then head to their local Western Union location with the QR code to pay with cash. The transaction is complete once the payment is submitted and the items will be shipped.
PayCode allows shoppers to conveniently pay as they shop, unlike Amazon Cash. The latter requires customers to load their Amazon account balance with cash at stores like CVS, Rite Aid, and 7-Eleven before shopping online.
The theory is that Amazon PayCode makes Amazon more accessible — allowing those without debit or credit cards, like younger or low-income consumers, to purchase their products. The company notes that 80% of Americans live within 5 miles of a participating Western Union.
Notably, in the US, PayCode has a significantly shorter window to make a payment. American customers have just 24 hours to pay cash at a Western Union location. Amazon linked the 24 hour payment period to shorter delivery times.
PayCode was previously available in 19 other countries, such as Thailand, Chile, and Costa Rica. Amazon targeted emerging markets where cash was the most common payment.
Over the next few weeks, the service is going to become available in Western Union locations nationwide along with Amazon Cash, making cash payments an option at 100,000 locations.