- Pick n Pay, one of the biggest grocery chains in South Africa, is now accepting cryptocurrency at its locations.
- The retailer claims that after five months of testing in 10 stores, the payment method is now accepted in 39 locations nationwide.
One of the biggest supermarket chains in South Africa, Pick n Pay, plans to let customers use Bitcoin to pay for goods across all of its locations.
The Times in South Africa had first reported the story. The technique was tested over a five-month period in ten of the largest grocery stores in the nation, according to reports. The cryptocurrency can also now be used in 39 Pick n Pay areas throughout South Africa.
Supermarket chain Pick n Pay announced it was looking to expand a pilot program designed to allow consumers to pay for their grocery shopping with bitcoin weeks after the nation’s financial watchdog classified crypto assets as a financial instrument.
According to Pick n Pay, those who are underprivileged by conventional banking institutions or those looking for a more affordable and practical way to exchange money are increasingly turning to cryptocurrencies. As a result, many businesses now accept Bitcoin.
With more than 500 supermarkets, Pick n Pay is the second-largest grocery retailer in South Africa. Other southern African nations like Botswana, Mozambique, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Namibia, and Mauritius also contain it.
This week, the retailer made the decision official and stated that customers could pay with any bitcoin Lightning-enabled app, including BlueWallet and Munn.
Through “trusted apps” on mobile phones or by plainly scanning a QR code and having to accept the rand conversion rate at the time of payment, shoppers of the store will be able to pay for products using cryptocurrency through the country wide deployment. The system is being piloted by Pick n Pay in collaboration with cryptocurrency companies Electrum and CryptoConvert.
The process is just as simple and safe as using a debit or credit card. Each transaction has a small service fee, costs the customer on average 70 cents, and takes less than 30 seconds.
Langeberg Mall, Mossel Bay, Sedgefield, Stellenbosch Central, Stellenbosch Square, Paarl Mall, Willowbridge, Local Big Bay, Table Bay Mall, and many more are among the participating retailers.
The retailer tested bitcoin for the first time five years ago when it conducted a pilot in the cafeteria at its Cape Town headquarters. It “demonstrated the idea, but the new tech at the moment was costlier for consumers and it took far too long to finish the transaction to make it sustainable,” the report stated.
Crypto payments are still in their infant stages in South Africa, but there is already a substantial level of adoption seen in areas of the society that have never had access to conventional financial systems, claims Carel van Wyk, the founder of CryptoConvert.