Amazon, the leading eCommerce player, has made a push into the financial market in Mexico, rolling out a debit card this week for the first time ever. With Mexicans reluctant to shop online, Amazon is hoping to encourage more of it by providing a new way to purchase things.
According to a report in Reuters, the debit card — called Amazon Rechargeable — is aimed at providing a new way to shop over the Internet. Amazon isn’t the only one eyeing the market. With a low eCommerce penetration rate, lots of online retailers see an opportunity in Mexico. “Clients that don’t have a credit or debit card will find Amazon Rechargeable an easy and practical way to convert cash into a payment method,” said Fernando Ramirez, Amazon’s product manager in Mexico, in a statement to Reuters. The card is backed by Mastercard and Grupo Financiero Banorte, the Mexican banks. Users can put cash on the card in convenience stores located around Mexico. Amazon debuted its Mexico-based site more than two years ago and is now the country’s third-largest online retailer.
In October it launched its cash service in Mexico, enabling shoppers to deposit between 100 pesos ($5.20) and 5,000 pesos per transaction at several convenience store chains throughout the country, including 7-Eleven, placing up to 10,000 pesos a day into Amazon accounts online. Currently, the service is not offered at OXXO convenience stores, which compete with 7-Eleven in Mexico and accept cash for MercadoLibre shoppers. Ramirez said at the time that Amazon is looking to expand its network, but declined to comment on whether OXXO would be included. Amazon is also considering Mexico for its second North American location. The company said it had received 238 bids, including proposals from the states of Chihuahua, Hidalgo and Queretaro. He noted that the service could draw “a population of new clients that would use this as their primary form of payment.”