South Africa

Pick n Pay now takes Bitcoin as payment

You can now pay for purchases at Pick n Pay (PnP) using Bitcoin – thanks to the retailer’s partnership with CryptoConvert, in collaboration with Luno and VALR.

The partnership has enabled customers to pay for purchases at PnP using cryptocurrency.

Luno’s country manager, Christo de Wit told the The Citizen that customers could easily make payments for purchases at PnP using Bitcoin by simply scanning a QR code.  

Luno employees were active in the project’s testing stages – successfully purchasing a box of good old Ouma Rusks, according to de Wit.

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Second attempt

CryptoCovert’s partnership with Luno and VALR comes months after PnP’s initial introduction of cryptocurrency as a payment method, across more than 1500 of its retail stores nationwide.

The initial system presented some teething problems, requiring customers to make payments using two apps – one to scan the QR code and the other to convert the bill to crypto market value.

However, the collaboration between SA’s crypto giants seems to have solved the virtual challenge, making it possible for customers to pay for purchases using a single app – either Luno or VALR Pay.

CryptoConvert’s spokesperson Carl Kritzinger, told The Citizen that while Luno and VALR users would have payment capabilities directly built into their apps, those with third-party lighting wallets would still need the previous CryptoQR app to initiate transactions.

How it works

De Wit gave The Citizen a crash course on how to make Bitcoin payments using Luno.

  1. Open your Luno App.
  2. Go to your Bitcoin wallet – QR scanner will instantly be launched.
  3. Scan the QR code.
  4. Luno will immediately convert the total amount to Bitcoin currency market value – and your items will be instantly paid for.

Customers can now pay for groceries and other value-added services such as airtime, flight and bus tickets, and pay municipal bills using Bitcoin.

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Financial Inclusion

Kritzinger, told The Citizen he was thrilled to partner with two reputable wallet and exchange providers like Luno and VALR – “that makes it easy for everyone to access a global financial system.”

He also said that cryptocurrency already made a “huge” contribution to financial inclusion in SA by giving users a cash alternative, and a mechanism to transfer money.

“We have seen the impact that Bitcoin adoption projects like Bitcoin Ekasi can have on communities,” he added.

De Wit agreed, saying he believed making cryptocurrency a mainstream payment method would boost financial inclusion. Just like Kritzinger, said he had seen crypto’s notable impact in informal settlements, with more people performing money transfers using Bitcoin.

Meanwhile, VALR’s Head of Growth, Blake Player said in a statement that the partnership would open up crypto payments to a much wider audience “than what was previously possible in SA”.

De Wit applauded the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) for declaring cryptocurrency as a financial product – said the move had made it possible for virtual currency to be used as a mainstream payment method.

When it comes to inclusion of mobile devices, De Wit said Luno currently catered for Android users, but would launch an IOS version on Monday 11 September.

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