Amazon Go’s New York outpost will accept cash after the etail giant was accused of discriminating against those without bank accounts.
Amazon Go’s USP is its frictionless payment system: cutomers’ mobile phones detect which items they are picking up and placing in their baskets and they are subsequently charged by the Amazon Go app.
In New York, Amazon will cater to those without bank accounts by store employees coming to them with a mobile device to help them check out and pay with cash.
It is not yet clear whether Amazon will cater for cash at its other Go stores – several American states and cities have prohibited cashless retail as legislators believe cashless stores will isolate those without bank accounts.
Philadelphia became the first major city to ban cashless stores in March, though Amazon reportedly attempted to block the law. New Jersey and Massachusetts have both banned cashless stores while New York, San Francisco and Chicago are considering similar laws.
Amazon senior vice president of physical stores Steve Kessel said last month the business was planning “additional payment mechanisms” at its Go stores. They included a programme called Amazon Cash, which lets users add cash to a digital account by bringing money to a local store like 7-Eleven or CVS.
The New York Amazon Go store will open in downtown Manhattan this week. It is situated in Brookfield Place mall near the One World Trade Centre. The mall mainly caters to a lunch-time customer and includes a French-inspired grocer, an Equinox gym and a co-working complex.