Pick n Pay has announced the test of cryptocurrency payments in selected stores following a successful pilot.
In order to faciliate these payments, the company has partnered with Electrum and CryptoConvert.
Customers will be able to make payments at selected stores using Bitcoin Lightning-enabled apps, which include BlueWallet or Muun.
In a press release, Pick n Pay notes:
Customers scan a QR code from the app and accept the Rand conversion rate on their smartphone at the time of the transaction. The service fee for each transaction is minimal, costing the customer on average 70 cents, and takes less than 30 seconds.
The pilot took place at 10 stores in the Western Cape and testing has now expanded to an additional 29 stores — bringing the total of stores testing Bitcoin payments to 39.
Pick n Pay has previously tested this technology, but its 2017 pilot found that it was too expensive for shoppers and that transactions took too long to finalize.
Traditionally, one of the problems of paying with cryptocurrency is the time needed to authenticate a transaction.
However, developments in crypto and blockchain technology since then have enabled the company to test this payment method more widely.
“This new technology means we can provide an affordable service for high volume, low-value transactions that will promote financial inclusion in South Africa,” Chris Shortt, Group Executive – Information and Technology (CITO), said in a statement.
CryptoConvert’s founder Carel van Wyk added to this, noting that the Lightning Network has helped make Bitcoin transactions cheaper and faster.
“Crypto payments are still in their infancy in South Africa, but we are already seeing adoption in parts of our society that haven’t previously had access to traditional financial systems.”
Users are able to transact with satoshis, the smallest unit of Bitcoin currency. One Bitcoin equals 100 million satoshis, so the value of one satoshi is 0.00000001 Bitcoin.
Below is a list of Pick n Pay stores that will be participating in the test:
- Langeberg Mall, Mosselbay
- Stellenbosch Central and Stellenbosch Square
- Paarl Mall
- Local Big Bay
- Table Bay Mall
- Kenilworth Campus
- Kenilworth Pam Golding
- Mall of Africa
- Mall of the North
- Mall of the South
- Menlyn Mall
- PnP on Nicol
- Liberty Midlands Mall
- The Pavilion
- Tshwane Mall
- Beacon Bay
- Fourways Mall
- PnP Qualisave Carlton Centre
- PnP Qualisave Diepsloot
- PnP Qualisave Midrand
- PnP Qualisave Rustenburg
- PnP Qualisave Commercial Road
- PnP Qualisave North Beach
- PnP Qualisave The Workshop
- PnP Qualisave Goodwood
- Hyper Bloemfontein
- Hyper Durban North
- Hyper Northgate
- Hyper Ottery
You can keep track of Pick n Pay stores testing crypto transactions on the CryptoConvert website.
Feature image: CryptoConvert