Amazon’s newest in-store program, Top Up, looks a lot like an existing one, and for good reason. The company recently launched Top Up, a service that lets you deposit cash into your Amazon account by scanning a barcode at participating retailers, in the UK. It is in fact just a rebranded version of Amazon Cash, which the company launched back in July in the US with the same purpose. The goal is to allow people without credit, debit, or bank cards — which in the US is around 7 percent of households as of 2015 — to use Amazon.com/uk with cash as if they were buying gift cards.
Top Up, it looks like, works identically to Amazon Cash, save the actual participating retailers. In the UK, Amazon says it works with British bill-paying service PayPoint. You start by getting a barcode through Amazon’s mobile app or website and taking it to a PayPoint outlet, where it can be scanned to add between £5 and £250. The barcode can be continuously reused. It can also be printed out on paper and scanned physically. amazon says that while there are no fees involved with using Top Up, deposited funds cannot be withdrawn, so you have to spend that money on Amazon once on your account.