Bitcoin has made its way to South Africa to leave its mark on the nation’s largest retailer – Pick n Pay.
Pick n Pay announced Tuesday that customers can now use Bitcoin as a payment option. This comes after the retailer completed a pilot phase to see if the transition would be well-received.
The pilot phase tested the method in 10 stores over the past five months. To say it worked would be an understatement. Case in point: customers can now use Bitcoin to pay in 39 Pick n Pay locations across South Africa.
How To Use Bitcoin at Pick N Pay
And it’s quicker and easier too. Customers shopping at a Pick n Pay for their groceries can simply use their phone to pay for goods using supported cryptocurrencies. This is due to the second-layer scaling tool for the Bitcoin blockchain known as the Lightning Network.
“Customers scan a QR code from the app and accept the rand conversion rate on their smartphone at the time of the transaction,” said a Pick n Pay spokesperson. “The transaction is as easy and secure as swiping a debit or credit card.”
This is a state-of-the-art innovation for the Pick n Pay customers. Cryptocurrency is still novel to most of the citizens in South Africa.
Founder of CryptoConvert Carel van Wyk notes that “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.”
Seeing a societal adoption is a good thing too because crypto isn’t going anywhere in South Africa–or anywhere else, for that matter.
The Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) declared last month that crypto assets are a financial product. This enables cryptocurrencies to be regulated.
It also helps that many people are opting for Bitcoin over traditional banks.
“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,” said Pick n Pay. “Many companies are responding to this by accepting Bitcoin.”
What began as a test drive in 10 stores across South Africa turned into 39 and Pick n Pay doesn’t plan on stopping there. According to a spokesperson, over the next few months, the retailer plans to install the payment method in all 1,628 stores.