Amazon's Go Stores are cashierless, but that looks likely to change in the near future according to Steve Kessel, Amazon's senior vice president of physical stores.
As CNBC reports, last month Amazon held an internal all-hands meeting with Kessel present to discuss the future of the company's Go stores. When asked a question about "discrimination and elitism," Kessel responded by stating "additional payment mechanisms" are set to be introduced at these physical locations, and one of those looks to be cash payments.
What's unclear right now is how those cash payments will be facilitated. On the face of it, cash is cash and requires a cashier to deal with the physical money and issue change where appropriate. However, Amazon already has a system in place called Amazon Cash, which allows cash to be added to a digital account via other local stores including 7-Eleven or CVS. Is that what Amazon means by accepting cash?
Although many of us do have credit and debit cards to pay for things, not accepting cash does limit the potential for sales at Go stores. Accepting cash directly would also allow Amazon to open Go locations in more areas, and specifically in cities where laws that require cash be accepted are in place.
A statement sent by Amazon to CNBC says, "We are working to accept cash at Amazon Go ... you'll check out, pay with cash, and then get your change." That does strongly suggest Amazon is set to accept cash without first adding it to a digital account. What we don't know yet is the timeframe Amazon is working to in order to add cash transactions to these stores.