- Customers can make Bitcoin payments via smartphone apps or by scanning a QR code
- Bitcoin payments are only available at Point of Sale terminals in-store and have not yet been opened up to online orders
- South Africans have already started posting videos on social media making payments via Bitcoin Lightning Network at Pick n Pay stores
Pick n Pay South Africa has forged ahead with plans to accept cryptocurrency payment via the Bitcoin lightning network to all 1628 stores nationwide. Customers can make payments via smartphone apps or by scanning a QR code. Cryptocurrency has taken giant steps forward in the Southern African nation since the country recognizes cryptocurrencies as financial products.
Cryptocurrency trial a success
After a 3-month pilot testing phase which expanded Bitcoin payments to 39 stores in the country, the retailer has expanded cryptocurrency payments to all its stores. This includes 660 franchised stores. South Africans can use Bitcoin Lightning Network for payments at Pick n Pay Family, Pick n Pay Liquor, Pick n Pay Hyper, Pick n Pay Clothing and PnP Express (convenience) stores. The platform allows customers to pay for groceries, clothing, liquor, airtime, electricity, tickets, and even municipal bills.
Pick n Pay has partnered with CryptoQR, a QR code-based payments processor and provider, to add the QR code function to the system. CryptoQRis a product of CryptoConvert, a Cape Town-based payments processor that provides crypto payments with settlement in Rands. At the till a customer will request to pay via a QR code. The point of sale (PoS) system displays the QR code customers scan using a dedicated app on their phones. The customer confirms the transaction on their phone, concluding the payment in seconds.
South Africans reap the benefits of cryptocurrency adoption
Cryptocurrency is still new territory for the world at large. As such, calling any adoption method appropriate would be to jump the gun. Among its African peers, South Africa seems to have chosen a path that is a delight to crypto enthusiasts. Much of Africa has taken an aggressive approach to cryptocurrency. The Central African Republic adopted Bitcoin as a legal tender. Mauritius enacted the Virtual Asset and Initial Token Offerings Act (VAITOS) 2021. Meanwhile, Namibia legalized the settlement of transactions with cryptocurrency between willing parties. There’s been little else that is positive from a government level. On the other hand, citizens are enthusiastic about cryptocurrency all over the continent. Other African nations can use South Africa in their approach to cryptocurrency adoption.
Pick n Pay stands as one of South Africa and Africa’s largest retailers. With an extensive branch network that covers the entire country and a deepening relationship with the leading online retailer in the country, Takealot, this could be the beginning of something much more significant for South Africans. At present, the retailer only accepts Bitcoin payments via the lightning network. Bitcoin payments are only available at Point of Sale terminals in-store and have not yet been opened up to online orders.
South Africans have already started posting videos on social media. The videos show people making real-time payments via Bitcoin Lightning Network at Pick n Pay stores.
Will Pick n Pay Bitcoin Payments open the floodgates
Nationwide adoption by one of the largest retailers in the country will undoubtedly serve as a starting gun to let others know the race is on. With the legal and regulatory framework set, we should expect more South African retailers to open up to cryptocurrency-based payments. Meanwhile, cryptocurrency enthusiasts in other parts of the continent will have to watch enviously as developments unfold.