Valerie Mmanthe Mampshika,[Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and English].
After 55 years of highs and lows since it’s establishment,Pick n Pay pulled another trick out of their bag by mentioning that they intend to accept bitcoin payments at all their tills in in the upcoming months,if the initial pilot test is a success.
In an update on Tuesday this week, the store chain said there has been an expansion in terms of pilot testing more stores, and at the present moment 39 stores namely Langeberg Mall,Sedgefield,Stellenbosch Central,Stellenbosch Square,Paarl Mall, Willowbridge,Local Big Bay,Table Bay Mall, Cavendish,Kenilworth,Kenilworth Campus,Kenilworth Pam Golding,Seapoint, Waterfront,Mall of Africa,Mall of the North,Mall of the South,Menlyn Mall, Nelspruit,PnP on Nicol,Liberty Midlands Mall,The Pavilion,Tshwane Mall,Beacon Bay, Uitenhage,Bedford view,Centurion,Fourways Mall,PnP Qualisave Carlton Centre,PnP Qualisave Diepsloot,PnP Qualisave Midrand,PnP Qualisave Rustenburg,PnP Qualisave Commercial Road,PnP Qualisave North Beach,PnP Qualisave The Workshop,PnP Qualisave Goodwood,Hyper Bloemfontein,Hyper Durban North,Hyper Northgate,and Hyper Ottery will accept bitcoin payments.
The first pilot test was done in 10 Western Cape stores taking bitcoin over the past five months, after a years-long pause since Pick n Pay first dipped its toes into cryptocurrency waters.
Five years ago the store reported that it tried out crypto payments at a canteen store at its head office in Johannesburg although the headquarters were in Cape Town initially which served as proof of the bitcoin concept, even though the accessible technology was costly before for the customers,and the finalisation of the transaction took longer than anticipated to make it sustainable.
Now, it says, transactions take a matter of seconds, after setting up a range of available software solutions on a smartphone.
Payments use the Bitcoin Lightning system, which is layered on top of the Bitcoin ecosystem that is famously slow and costly for daily transactions. Using Bitcoin Lightning though, Pick n Pay says, takes less than a minute which is much easier than customers swiping their debit cards.
Looking at the current statistics and calculations the Pick n Pay head office has confirmed that the average cost of a transaction is 70 cents which is equivalent to the price of plastic bags in the South africa.
In order to pay with bitcoin, you’ll need an app that supports Bitcoin Lightning. That can be a non-custodial wallet, such as Zap or Muun, or a custodial wallet, such as Strike or Wallet of Satoshi.
The app, once set up and loaded with bitcoin, can be connected to the CryptoQR scanner app, which in turn can scan a QR code at the point of payment. Then you have to accept the conversation rate from bitcoin to rand that is offered on your smartphone, and you are done.
Since Pick n Pay is the first major retailer in Africa to test Lightning Network spells out easily that the retailer might have enough funds,and we wonder if other retailers will look into the concept of paying with bitcoin.