Amazon’s automated Go stores will start accepting cash amid growing claims that the e-commerce giant is discriminating against those without access to banking or credit cards.
Steve Kessel, Amazon’s senior vice president of physical stores, told employees last month that the company’s Go stores will have ‘additional payment mechanisms,’ according to CNBC.
The move was announced after concerns arose that the automated stores fostered ‘discrimination and elitism’ by shunning consumers that use cash.
Amazon first launched its line of Go stores in 2016, with the first location opening near its Seattle headquarters.
At the stores, consumers walk in, scan their phone on a gated turnstile to pull up their Amazon Go account, find an item that they want and then exit the store without the need to pay with a cashier.
Cameras are located around the store to track customers, while weighted sensors are installed on the shelves to keep track of which products users take.
After exiting the store, Amazon charges any purchases to the user’s account.
In order to charge consumers for their order, they’re required to have a bank or credit card connected to their account.
Additionally, in order to enter the store, consumers must own a smartphone.
This inherently sets up barriers for lower-income customers who either don’t own a smartphone or aren’t established with a banking institution.
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Source: Daily Mail