Amazon wants a key to your apartment building, the online shopping giant is pushing landlords across the country with financial incentives. Amazon Key for Business Service will offer the company’s driver the ability to unlock apartment-building doors themselves with a mobile device.
The latest Amazon Key for Business service focuses on trying to cut down on stolen packages by leaving them in lobbies rather than outside. Amazon will benefit from this as it will allow its delivery workers to make their rounds faster and fewer stolen packages. This will reduce cost and provide Amazon an edge over competitors.
Users using the service say the constant buzzing by delivery people is less and is a safe alternative to giving codes to a number of delivery people.
The program was earlier announced by Amazon in 2018 but may raise security concerns. Currently, the company makes background checks of delivery people. They can only unlock doors when they have a package to scan in their hand. Though the tenants may not know about Amazon drivers having access to their building’s front door, as it is up to the building to notify them.
With concern any device connected to the internet could be hacked, it is possible bad actors could try to unlock doors. Amazon has been unable to respond to questions related to potential hacking.
Amazon has installed the device in thousands of US apartment buildings, though has not revealed the exact numbers. Amazon leaves a clue on building with an Amazon smile logo on buzzers. A number of them have been spotted in the neighborhoods of New York City street.
Amazon is offering $100 Amazon gift cards to allow them to install the device. Some are getting it installed for free, as the company salespeople are trying to make more installations. The company has also collaborated with locksmiths to push building managers when they fix locks.
The US Postal Service does have a way to enter apartment buildings for getting to mailboxes. UPS also has a way for its workers to deliver without buzzing the tenants while entering the building; it has teamed up with a smart-lock company in 2018. Though these efforts ended, UPS did not reveal the reasons behind it. Now it delivers customer’s packages to nearby grocery stores, dry cleaners, or florists if they’re not home.
Currently, Amazon and Walmart have people using such services, but the exact number is not disclosed and are being expanded to more cities recently.
According to Rakuten Intelligence, a shopping data firm, Amazon delivers nearly 60% of its own packages. While the new service might be a way to keep its competitors out by getting into as many buildings as possible.
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