Amazon's cashless Go stores to start accepting cash

Amazon Go stores are due to start accepting cash, in response to concerns in US states and cities that the cashless format discriminates against those without access to a bank account.

The e-commerce giant’s senior vice president of physical stores Steve Kessel told an internal meeting last month that its growing number of Amazon Go stores will soon introduce “additional payment mechanisms”.

An Amazon spokesperson later confirmed to CNBC that it is working to accept cash at Amazon Go.

The high-tech store concept works by allowing users to scan their smartphones upon entry, linking to their Amazon accounts, then using cameras and sensors to determine every item a shopper picks up and charging their accounts automatically.

The expansion of Go stores - from the company’s headquarters in Seattle, to Chicago and San Francisco, before rolling the retail concept out more extensively in the US - has met with resistance from lawmakers.

Last month, Philadelphia passed a law stating that after 1 July almost all businesses in the city will be required by law to accept cash payments and any retailers who fail to accept cash after that date could face a fine of up to $2,000. This follows a similar bill from the state of New Jersey earlier in the year.

“It just seemed to me unfair that I could walk into a coffee shop right across from City Hall, and I had a credit card and could get a cup of coffee, and the person behind me, who had United States currency, could not,” the bill’s co-sponsor councilman Bill Greenlee told the New York Times.

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