Prominent South African consumer goods retail platform Pick n Pay will begin accepting Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as payment for goods.
Pick n Pay will start accepting Bitcoin (BTC) for its consumer goods products across several outlets in South Africa, local news media Times Live reported on Tuesday.
Currently, Bitcoin integration is in its pilot phase, with 39 outlets already testing the crypto payments. The leading retail business plans to integrate the option into more retail outlets as the current phase progresses, with plans to test how customers receive the development.
The recently-introduced payment integration can be utilized through local crypto wallets. Customers can pay for products at the participating retail points by scanning a QR code through any local cryptocurrency wallet with a bitcoin lightning feature.
Upon a successful scan, consumers will witness a conversion rate in the local currency, prompting them to approve the transaction. Pick n Pay noted that the transaction would take only 30 seconds, as is conventional with most blockchain transactions, with an average fee of 70c.
The service is powered by South African crypto payments processor CryptoConvert, and bitcoin wallet Electrum, as Pick n Pay forms a partnership with both, enabling customers to pay with the Bitcoin Lightning network.
In the past five months, the grocery retailer launched a trial phase for the crypto payment, with ten stores in the South African province of Western Cape involved. The number of outlets included in the test has significantly increased to 39.
Pick n Pay’s disclosure of this payment integration comes barely two weeks after South African authorities published a statement revealing intentions to treat Bitcoin and other crypto assets as financial products. The Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) of the country made the declaration to provide regulatory clarity on the nascent industry.
Speaking on the development, the founder of CryptoConvert, Carel van Wyk pointed out the growing adoption rate of cryptocurrencies in South Africa, as the nation boasts of one of the highest crypto ownership rates in the continent. Despite this growing adoption, he noted that the industry is still in its infancy.
South Africa, like several other countries, has embraced the cryptocurrency industry. According to a Triple-A survey, crypto awareness recently surged to 92.6% among business owners in South Africa. Additionally, crypto adoption amongst business owners had risen to 59.7%.
Amidst this increasing adoption rate, the South African FSCA declared on October 20 that crypto-focused entities within the country will have to apply for a license of operation before November 20, 2023. This decision highlights the regulator’s goal to properly handle the local crypto industry.