A major supermarket chain in South Africa, Pick n Pay, has started a trial to accept bitcoin payments in-store at its head office location. A payment technology company named Electrum provides the payments platform, with bitcoin exchange Luno providing the Bitcoin payment infrastructure.
Pick n Pay Trials Bitcoin Payments
Pick n Pay is the second largest supermarket chain in South Africa, behind only Shoprite. The company is trialing bitcoin payments at its head office campus store, its payment solution provider Electrum recently announced:
In what is potentially a world first for a major grocery retailer, Electrum has enabled Pick n Pay to accept bitcoin payments in-store.
Electrum provides the cloud-based enterprise payments platform used for bitcoin transactions. It is the first time for the company to provide a bitcoin payment solution.
Founded in 1967, the Pick n Pay group currently employs more than 80,000 people. The company sells food, clothing and general merchandise. The group has 1,560 stores in total, located in South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, Mozambique, Mauritius, Swaziland and Lesotho. However, the trial is only at the head office campus store in Cape Town where customers can pay for groceries and services using bitcoin.
Pick n Pay executive Jason Peisl noted:
Cryptocurrency and bitcoin are still relatively new payment concepts, yet we have been able to effectively demonstrate how we are able to accept such alternative payments.
The bitcoin checkout process involves scanning a printed QR code using a bitcoin wallet app on the customer’s smartphone. The Bitcoin infrastructure is provided by Luno, a bitcoin exchange with a strong presence in Southeast Asia and Africa and an office in Cape Town.
Bitcoin Adoption Growing in South Africa
“Bitcoin interest and adoption in South Africa is taking off big time,” even though 90% of payments in the country are still cash-based, Luno revealed in April.
The country currently ranks fourth in Google Trends among countries with the most Bitcoin-related searches globally, behind only Nigeria, Bolivia, and Ghana. The most popular search topic is “Bitcoin – Payment System.” Within South Africa, the trend is steadily increasing.
In November last year, Luno made a list of stores online and offline where bitcoin payments are accepted in South Africa. The exchange wrote at the time:
We’re happy to say that South Africa has a thriving bitcoin market, with thousands of merchants accepting the virtual currency as payment method…Through our partnership with Payfast, shoppers in South Africa can pay with bitcoin at the thousands of merchants that have the payment method enabled.
What do you think of Pick n Pay accepting bitcoin? Let us know in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Moneyweb, Google, and Pick n Pay
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