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(Pocket-lint) - If you don't have a bank card, shopping online is nearly impossible.

You're likely limited to using throw-away refill cards when it comes to buying goods on the internet. Amazon, however, has introduced a new service in the UK, called Amazon Top Up, that aims to change all that. It's identical to Amazon Cash, which involves an "Amazon Cash barcode" that Americans can bring to a store, then scan, and hand over cash in order to load up their Amazon account balances.

Here's how Amazon Top Up works in the UK.


What is Amazon Top Up?

Amazon Top Up is a new, in-store service that lets UK customers automatically add gift cards to their Amazon gift card balance. The service is available at "thousands of PayPoint locations across the UK". Once you add to your gift card balance, the funds - or "top up" - will be accessible on Amazon within seconds, so you can immediately start shopping online. It's completely free to use Top Up.

What's the point of Amazon Top Up?

People without access to credit and debit cards - including minors - are limited to using gift cards or throw-away refill cards when it comes to buying goods on the internet. Amazon Top Up lets you easily add money to your Amazon gift card balance from a store. So, if you don't have a bank card hooked up to your Amazon account, you can use Amazon Top Up to add funds and buy goods on Amazon.

Amazon Amazon Top Up image 3

How does Amazon Top Up work?

Get your barcode

Visit amazon.co.uk/topupinstore on your phone or desktop browser, or search for ’Amazon Top Up – In Store’ via the Amazon mobile app to get your Amazon Top Up barcode. Your Amazon Top Up barcode can be stored on your device for repeat use or printed at home. The same barcode can be used every time you want to use Amazon Top Up. There is no need to generate a new code each time.

To save your barcode, go to the Amazon Top Up barcode page in the Amazon app, and then follow these steps:

  • Android - Select “Add to Home Screen” to create a shortcut on your smartphone’s home screen.
  • iOS - Select “Add to Apple Wallet” to store your Amazon Top Up barcode in your smartphone’s digital wallet.

Go to a store

Visit one of the thousands of "PayPoint locations" at participating convenience, grocery, and petrol stations. A directory of all participating locations can be found at amazon.co.uk/topupinstore. Once you get there, locate a cashier, then give him or her your barcode to scan, and pay the amount you want to add to your Amazon gift card balance. You can only add between £5 and £250 in a single transaction.

Daily limits also apply and may vary by retailer.

Shop online

By adding to your gift card balance, you're simply adding money to your Amazon account. You're therefore enabling yourself to shop online on Amazon. You can buy millions of products, including stream or download films, TV shows, music, and ebooks. Keep in mind you cannot withdraw cash from your Amazon gift card balance once you've added it via Amazon Top Up. You must spend it on Amazon.

View your account balance

You can view your Amazon account balance here on Amazon.co.uk.

Amazon Amazon Top Up image 2

Are there any fees?

No, Amazon Top Up is a free service. There are no fees.

Which stores offer Amazon Top Up?

Amazon partnered with PayPoint on Amazon Top Up. So, you have to go to a PayPoint location. There are thousands of PayPoint locations across the UK. You can find the closest one to you from here.

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Anything else you should know?

If you make your first "top up" by 31 October 2017, and you add at least £20 or more, Amazon said you will receive a £5 promotional credit.

Writing by Elyse Betters.
Sections Amazon Apps