Amazon and Western Union have teamed up to launch a new payment method called PayCode. It allows people to shop and buy from Amazon’s online store and then pay for their purchases at local Western Union locations.
This expands the ability of users particularly in foreign countries to buy from the online retailer. Western Union will be able to accept local currencies that Amazon doesn’t currently accept on the site. It also taps into customers that aren’t comfortable using a credit card or making online payments. They will be able to pay in cash instead.
When PayCode is enabled, users will see the price in the shopping cart reflected in local currency. When they complete the purchase, they receive a code which is used to complete the transaction at local Western Union locations.
PayCode targets buyers who want to buy products that aren’t available from Amazon in their own region. These products will be shipped from warehouses in other countries, but customers will be able to pay locally and in person.
This opens potential new markets for Amazon. Research from Forrester estimates cross-border shopping sales will account for 20% of e-commerce by 2022 as more shoppers from Africa and the Middle East buy online. It paves the way for increased international shopping and may reduce the fear of buying overseas products. The partnership with Western Union makes it easier to handle the foreign currency exchange.
The service has been launched in Africa in the country of Kenya along with nine other countries in Latin America and Asia as it tries to compete with Alibaba, which dominates retail markets in India and China.