South African retailer, Pick N Pay, has rolled out a crypto payment solution. After completing its trial phase, the grocery store added an in-store cryptocurrency payment solution. This news has piqued the interest of many South African crypto enthusiasts. Read on as we unpack what this means.
What Does This Mean?
South Africans will be able to pay for goods using cryptocurrencies in select Pick N Pay outlets across the country. These outlets have been chosen for trials after the completion of a pilot phase. Essentially, buyers will use crypto wallets in their smartphones to pay for goods in these stores.
Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA)
This move comes after the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) allowed the use of cryptocurrency as an acceptable means of payment. The South African financial regulator classified all cryptocurrencies as financial product. This was in a notice published in the government gazette which enable the cryptocoins to be regulated.
In a short notice Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) referred to cryptocurrency as ‘digital representation of value.’ This happened as the regulator told South Africans about regulating cryptocurrencies in the country.
Some of the regulations the authority plans to introduce include licensing crypto trading firms and attaching foreign exchange controls on the digital currencies.
In a bid to back up their decision Pick N Pay said, “Increasingly, cryptocurrency is being used by those under-served by traditional banking systems or by those wanting to pay and exchange money in a cheaper and really convenient way. Many companies are responding to this by accepting Bitcoin.”
Pick N Pay put a payment service option that made it possible for clients to purchase groceries using cryptocurrencies at given till points through a Bitcoin Lightning-enabled app like Muun or BlueWallet. This was in its latest pilot for the cryptocurrency payment technology.
How to Transact
To transact using this payment method, buyers of users need a smart phone that can support the necessary payment apps. If you have all these, you will need to scan a QR code on your app and acept the corresponding rand conversion on your phone at the time of your transaction. Like most transactions, all purchases you make using this method attracts a small fee of about 70 cents. Additionally, the transactions take about 30 seconds to complete. Therefore, you will not only spend less money per transactions but also save on time while making purchases on these stores.
Pick N Pay Stores Accepting Cryptocurrency Payments for Transactions
The first pilot phase featured ten stores in the Western Cape region. This was for a total of 5 months trial phase. However, the grocey retailer extended its crypto technology to 29 more stores to test it on customers with plans to introduce it to other stores in the coming months.
According to the grocery retailer, plans to roll out crypto payment method has been in the future growth plans for the company for a while. This was evidenced by a pilot rolled out by the company in their head office’s canteen located in CapeTown.
At the time, the concept worked well but the technology wasn’t available at affordable rates. The technology was very costly for shoppers. Additionally, the transaction time was too long making the payment method unsustainable.
The group’s executive for IT, Chris Shortt, said, “This new technology means we can provide an affordable service for high volume, low-value transactions that will promote financial inclusion in South Africa.” He added, “we are constantly innovating and testing new technology so that we can add real value and choice for the customers we serve. This exciting pilot shows huge potential and is another way we can help and support our customers.”
List of Stores that Will Take Part in the Pilot
Naturally, you would want to know stores that will take part in the pilot phase. Here is a list of Pick N Pay stores that you should visit for crypto payments.
- Langeberg Mall, Mosselbay
- Stellenbosch Central and Stellenbosch Square
- Paarl Mall
- Local Big Bay
- Table Bay Mall
- Kenilworth Pam Golding
- Kenilworth Campus
- Mall of Africa
- Mall of the North
- Menlyn Mall
- Mall of the South
- Liberty Midlands Mall
- PnP on Nicol
- Tshwane Mall
- The Pavilion
- Beacon Bay
- PnP Qualisave Carlton Centre
- Fourways Mall
- PnP Qualisave Diepsloot
- PnP Qualisave Midrand
- PnP Qualisave Rustenburg
- PnP Qualisave Commercial Road
- Hyper Durban North
- PnP Qualisave North Beach
- Hyper Northgate
- PnP Qualisave The Workshop
- Hyper Ottery
- PnP Qualisave Goodwood
- Hyper Bloemfontein
Pick N Pay Testers
The South African grocery retailer tested crypto payments using various testers including Bitcoin Ekasi in Mossel Bay. Bitcoin Ekasi reimburse coaches from The Surfer Kids, a non-profi organisation, in Bitcoin. It also brings township vendors onboard to receive payments in cryptocurrency.
Pick N Pay said, “as the local Pick n Pay store now accepts Bitcoin, the coaches and children can spend their earnings more widely and conveniently than before.”
Pick N Pay Partnering with Cryptoconvert and Electrum
Pick N Pay has joined hands with Cryptoconvert and Electrum on its most recent pilot. Essentially, Electrum’s payment platform links Pick N Pay and Cryptoconvert allowing buyers to pay for products using Bitcoin Lightning technology at the grocery retailer’s till points.
Dave Glass, Electrum CEO said, “As a key technology provider, Electrum has a long history of partnering with Pick n Pay to bring innovative payment solutions to South Africans.”
Carel Van Wyk, Cryptoconvert founder intimated that cryptocurrency use in South Africa is still at its infancy stage. Evene so, the company continues to witness an increased uptake of crypto payments in parts of the country that has no access to conventional financial system.
As blockchain technology evolves, the cost of crypto transactions reduces. It’s also safe and convenient method of payment. Van Wyk said, “Cryptocurrency combines the convenience of cash with the safety and security of electronic identification measures, like biometrics and cryptographic encryption. It is also cheaper than credit cards or the cost of cash handling. But more importantly, it is a digital payment that is open to anyone, including those unable to use traditional digital payment options.”
Customers can now buy groceries using cryptocurrencies. Pick N Pay and her partners have not only made it affordable but they have made it fast. All you need is a smartphone, and an online wallet.