Wall Street Journal today has an article about how Amazon.com is joining forces with Coinstar:

The coin program may attract new users to Amazon and Coinstar. Some consumers have resisted Coinstar’s machines — familiar fixtures in many grocery stores — because Coinstar charges an 8.9% commission in the U.S. to convert coins into bills. And Amazon’s clientele has largely been limited to people with credit cards.

The Amazon program will give customers the full value of their change, as long as they spend it on Amazon. Coinstar Vice President Peter Rowan said the deal gives the company’s customers “a way of using cash online, which they couldn’t do until now. We hope it’ll drive new users.”

Now this isnt the coolest thing I have ever seen, but it is still pretty neat. It gives people who don’t have access to credit or debit cards (all 4 of them) access to Amazon, and will drive coinstar coin exchange traffic. I never knew Coinstar charged nearly 9% on the transaction. The really neat part of the story is the fact that the coinstar machines allowing you to add value to the cards – creating a platform for electronic currency specifically targeted to the young and the less wealthy.

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