South Africa Retailer Pick n Pay Now Accepts Payment in Bitcoin at 39 Outlets

Pick n Pay, the South African retailer, has revealed that some of its grocery stores are now accepting bitcoin payments. To ensure payments are affordable, Pick n Pay reportedly uses the Bitcoin Lightning Network which is said to be suitable for “high volume, low-value transactions.”

2017 Trial Served as Proof of Concept

The South African grocery retail giant, Pick n Pay, announced on Nov.1, 2022, that some of its stores — about 39 — are now accepting bitcoin (BTC) payments. The retailer also said it plans to enable crypto payments in all its stores “in the coming months.”

According to a Business Insider report, Pick n Pay’s decision to expand bitcoin payments to 39 outlets followed the success of a pilot phase that commenced more than four months earlier. Before that, Pick n Pay tested bitcoin payments at a staff canteen and even though the technology seemed expensive at the time (2017), it nonetheless served as a proof of concept, the report added.

Crypto as a ‘Mainstream Method of Payment’

In a statement that explains why it decided to introduce the bitcoin payment option to some of its stores, Pick n Pay said:

While for many years crypto was something for specialists on their computers, or used by early adopters trying it out, things are changing. The Financial Sector Conduct Authority’s recent announcement paves the way for cryptocurrency as a mainstream method of payment.

The retailer also noted that crypto is now being used by the unbanked “or by those wanting to pay and exchange money in a cheaper and convenient way.” According to Pick n Pay, several companies are similarly making it possible for their clients to pay using bitcoin.

To ensure that crypto payments would be affordable, Pick n Pay reportedly chose to use the Bitcoin Lightning Network (LN). By using the LN — a layer two (L2) system on top of the Bitcoin network — makes “high volume, low-value transactions will promote financial inclusion” possible, the retailer reportedly said.

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Terence Zimwara

Terence Zimwara is a Zimbabwe award-winning journalist, author and writer. He has written extensively about the economic troubles of some African countries as well as how digital currencies can provide Africans with an escape route.


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