Pay cash at Amazon

The new “Amazon Cash” offer has also been available in Germany since July. This should make it possible to pay in cash at Amazon. But the small number of contractual partners is a hurdle.

Also takes cash: Internet retailer Amazon

AEveryone is talking about the abolition of cash – but of all people a particularly prominent internet retailer is trying to introduce cash for its business. The Internet department store Amazon is in the process of setting up a possibility for its customers to pay for books, films and other online orders with cash if they wish.

In America, where the company started doing this in April of last year, the payment method was called “Amazon Cash”. According to an Amazon spokeswoman, this option has now also been available in Germany since July 31: In this country the process is called “Amazon top-up”.

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The mechanism works like this: The new Amazon payment method is a kind of “digital prepaid voucher”, as Horst Rüter from the trading institute EHI in Cologne puts it. Amazon customers can have a personalized barcode created on the Internet at “Amazon.de/vorortaufladen”. You can then either print it out on paper – in the conventional way – and take it with you, or you can take your smartphone with you and display it there.

Then the Amazon customer has to go to one of the shops that are involved in the project and show this barcode at the checkout. Then he can deposit 5 to 500 euros there. Depending on the business, a daily maximum can also be imposed. The amount is then credited to your own Amazon account in the form of gift voucher credit.

According to the company, this happens within 15 minutes. “With the credit, customers can then buy millions of products or digital content on Amazon.de,” the company advertises. Any fee, such as the card fee for a credit card, is not due for this payment method.

As an advertising incentive, Amazon is offering a kind of bonus until October 31st: Anyone who pays 30 euros in cash to their Amazon account for the first time will receive a “promotional voucher” for 10 euros, which they can then use until November 30th for online shopping can use.

“Lots of people are at least interested in it”

In the first reviews on the Internet it is said that technically the process works quite well except for occasional delays in crediting the voucher credit – the main problem is that there are too few shops in which the physical part of the Amazon cash payment can be processed.

Deutsche Bahn, in whose stations many of the shops that take part in the program are located, reports a generally positive response: “Lots of people are at least interested in it.” The shops where you can deposit the money are mainly train station bookstores, Travel supplies shops and kiosks.

On its website, Amazon offers a list of the contractual partners who are participating in the project, including, for example, many DB service stores operated by Deutsche Bahn’s franchise partners, the station bookstores Press & Books, as well as the U-Store, Avec and Cigo chains. A publicly viewable list of all participating branches sorted by postcode, for example, is still missing – so the process is cumbersome.

Amazon is by no means the only provider that makes something of this kind possible. Another company that has set up a somewhat similar program with cash payments for Internet purchases is “Barzahlen.de”. However, this company advertises that there are now more than 12,000 branches in Germany, from Rewe to dm to Penny, in which you can deposit the cash for online purchases via this payment provider.