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Bitcoin Accepted: South Africa’s 2nd Largest Retailer Tests Payments

Last Updated March 4, 2021 4:59 PM
Francisco Memoria
Last Updated March 4, 2021 4:59 PM

South Africa’s second-largest supermarket chain store, Pick n Pay, recently started accepting bitcoin in one of its stores, according to an announcement  made by payments software development firm Electrum.

The goal is to, presumably, test how Pick n Pay’s customers react to the cryptocurrency so the supermarket chain can eventually start accepting it in all of its locations across South Africa. Pick n Pay is also present in other countries, including Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Namibia, Mozambique and Zambia – if all of its stores started accepting bitcoin, it would be one of the cryptocurrency’s largest wins in Africa.

The announcement clarifies that customers at the store, at Pick n Pay’s head office campus, have been able to use the cryptocurrency for limited time. Dave Glass, MD at Electrum, the company that provided the payments platform for the transactions, stated:

“We’ve worked closely with PnP for several years as a key technology provider. Our mission is to support innovative enterprises like Pick n Pay, and together we use the advanced Electrum software-as-a-service technology to move quickly on new opportunities, whilst at the same time delivering the best possible shopping experience.”

The necessary bitcoin infrastructure for the POS system was provided by South African-based startup Luno , which already facilitated bitcoin transactions in the country. Jason Peisl, an executive and Pick n Pay, stated that one of the company’s key values is to embrace, change, and encourage innovation and leadership. As such, the company is always “working with our technology partners to find ways in which we can deliver valuable, innovative services to our customers.”

Although bitcoiners might see this as a breakthrough, it’s clear that, for now, the supermarket chain is just testing the option to see how customers react. Whether or not Pick n Pay will decide to enable bitcoin payments in all of its stores, is up to South African bitcoiners.

At the selected Pick n Pay store in which bitcoin is now accepted, the payment process is as easy as scanning a QR code, as shown in the video provided by Electrum in its announcement:

News of Pick n Pay’s move comes as bitcoin’s price is seemingly recovering from China’s crackdown, as exchanges and experts remain optimistic on what’s ahead for the cryptocurrency ecosystem.

Featured image from Shutterstock.