In a move that would increase Jamaican consumers’ access to shopping online, Western Union — an affiliate of GraceKennedy Money Services— and Amazon.com on Tuesday unveiled a new payment platform that allows customers to pay for their online purchases with local currency.
Known as Amazon PayCode, the platform makes it easier for customers to shop online, at Amazon.com or using Amazon mobile app, “by processing the complex foreign exchange, settlement and money movement requirements for international e-commerce transactions”, a release from GraceKennedy Group stated.
So, having selected the desired product(s) from the online merchant, the customer can proceed to the checkout page and choose PayCode. The option will generate a code for the customer, as well as instructions on how to pay at select Western Union locations.
According to president of consumer money transfer at Western Union, Khalid Fellahi, “We’re helping to unlock access to Amazon.com for customers who need and want items that can only be found online in many parts of the world.”
“…All Jamaicans will now have access to millions of products offered by Amazon and have the ability to pay for their items with cash…”— GraceKennedy Money Services President Grace Burnett
He pointed out further that the partnership ” is a great example of two global brands innovating and collaborating to bring customers more convenience and choice”.
Based on research carried out by global consulting and analytics company Forrester Research, choice, quality and cost are among the primary reasons customers shop online. However, customers are excluded from making online purchases if they don’t have access to international debit and credit cards or can’t pay in person.
To this end, Amazon Director of Payment Acceptance and Experience Ben Volk noted, “AmazonPayCode leverages the reach of Western Union to make cross-border online shopping a reliable and convenient experience for customers who do not have access to international credit cards, or prefer to pay in cash.”
In the same vein, Fellahi further explained, “…our platform is ideally suited to solving the complexity of collecting local currency and converting it into whatever currency merchants need on the other end.”
At the local level, GraceKennedy Money Services President Grace Burnett highlighted that despite Jamaicans being “very familiar with ordering online”, there are still consumers who don’t have access to international debit and credit cards with which to make purchases on Amazon.com.
“Through this partnership with Western Union and Amazon, all Jamaicans will now have access to millions of products offered by Amazon and have the ability to pay for their items with cash through the premier money transfer service in the world at participating locations islandwide,” she aid
Forrester Research estimates that by 2022, cross-border shopping will account for 20 per cent e-commerce with sales reaching US$630 billion.