Is Amazon Cash the Catalyst Mobile Payments Needed?

Amazon isn't the first to try it, of course, but some experts are saying the marketplace's release of Amazon Cash just might be what the industry needs to make mobile payments finally happen. 

For the unfamiliar, Amazon Cash will allow consumers to add physical cash to their Amazon accounts while at select brick-and-mortar locations (including CVS, Speedway and others) in order to shop online without using a debit or credit card. 

"Amazon's launch of a payment app throws their hat into the ring of many other notable brands working on breaking through in the payment space," said Erin Jordan, account director and retail technology lead at Walker Sands Communications. "And for good reason -- our 2016 Future of Retail study showed more than 1 in 3 consumers have used a mobile payment app in the past year-- and millennials continue to drive these numbers up. Notably, the data also reveals the number one concern for mobile payment apps is security, a barrier that Amazon may be able to overcome since the marketplace is already trusted by the majority of consumers."

Even with its current promotion of 'add $50 and get a $10 digital credit' it's unlikely that those with debit and credit cards already attached to their Amazon accounts will need or want to visit a physical store to add cash to then go shop online, but for card-less groups, Amazon Cash will certainly remove the barrier to shopping online. In fact, just 33 percent of adults between the ages of 18 and 29 say they have a credit card, according to Bankrate's Money Pulse survey. Since millennials are top smartphone users, they may be attracted to a way to add cash to their devices and be able to take advantage of wider inventory selections online. For other generations wearier of entering payment details online, this could give them the confidence they need to explore ecommerce.