Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) is making shopping on its platform easier for people who prefer paying with cash versus plastic. Amazon PayCode, currently available in 19 countries around the world, will roll out to U.S. shoppers over the next few weeks. PayCode is a new checkout option that will allow online shoppers to pay for Amazon.com purchases at one of 15,000 Western Union locations.
The service itself launched earlier this year in partnership with Western Union. When shoppers choose the PayCode option at checkout on Amazon.com, they are given a QR code they take to a Western Union to pay for the items they want to buy. In the event of a return, customers get cash back. Amazon representatives said there will be no extra fees for the service.
Amazon says that PayCode customers in the U.S. have 24 hours to make their payment, rather than the 48-hour window for customers in other countries. This is reportedly due to shorter delivery windows for U.S. customers. Amazon does not anticipate this being a problem though as it notes that 80 percent of Americans live within five miles of a participating Western Union.
Despite the rise of mobile payments, cash is still a leading payment method in the U.S. Last year, 79 percent of consumers used cash for purchases and 39 percent of in-person payments continue to be made using cash. Amazon also offers its Amazon Cash service, which lets shoppers load funds on their Amazon account at places like CVS, Rite Aid, GameStop, 7-Eleven, and Western Union.
PayCode may be a more convenient option for some Amazon customers, as it allows them to shop first, then pay the exact amount for their purchases. Ben Volk, director, Payments at Amazon, said in a statement, “Customers have told us they love the convenience of paying in cash. Together with Western Union, we’re able to offer customers more shopping choices, enabling them to pay for their online purchases in a way that is convenient for them.”