Amazon launched the feature in April 2017 as a way to serve underbanked and unbanked U.S. consumers. Customers can either print a personalized barcode or download it onto their smartphone from Amazon.com. They then bring the barcode to a 7-Eleven cashier, along with the amount they want on their Amazon account in cash. The cashier scans the barcode, inputs the cash amount, and the customer then has cash on his or her Amazon account without the use of a credit or debit card. Users can load between $15 and $500 in a single transaction, with no fees charged.
C-stores are already a hub for cash-only customers, according to a recent payments study from Cardtronics, which showed 59% of those surveyed for the study said they used cash in a c-store in the past six months. Launching Amazon Cash at 7-Eleven allows the retailer to drive traffic at its stores by helping connect unbanked or underbanked customers to their Amazon accounts.
Amazon Cash has been available for retailers to offer customers since early April, and plenty of retailers, including CVS Pharmacy, Speedway, Sheetz, Kum & Go and more have launched the system, but adding 8,000 7-Eleven stores to the service will considerably widen the Amazon Cash footprint. Before the launch of Amazon Cash, unbanked customers were forced to purchase an Amazon gift card to upload money into an online account.
"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."
Some 7-Eleven c-stores have included ties to Amazon for about five years with Amazon Lockers for package deliveries. The lockers were first installed in Seattle and Manhattan, and are now available in select stores in 300 cities.
In addition to Amazon Cash, 7-Eleven also carries Amazon prepaid gift cards. The prepaid gift cards do not impose fees, never expire and are available in multiple denominations, from $25 to $500.
Irving, Texas-based 7-Eleven Inc. operates, franchises or licenses more than 61,000 stores in 17 countries, including 10,900 in North America. It ranked No. 1 in CSP's 2017 Top 202 list of the largest c-store chains in the United States.