South African Retail Giant Pick n Pay Expands Crypto Payments Pilot Project

November 4, 2022 10:20:00

Pick n Pay, arguably the largest grocery chain in South Africa, has announced that it is expanding a pilot program aimed at gradually introducing cryptocurrencies as another way through which its customers can pay for their purchases.

This change was announced a few weeks after the country’s Financial Sector Conduct Authority officially declared that cryptocurrency assets were now formally regarded as financial assets within the country. This declaration paved the way for such assets to start being regulated, and the move also opened the door to cryptos being used as a mainstream form of payment.

In a statement released by Pick n Pay, the company explained that groups that weren’t properly served by the traditional financial system were increasingly turning to cryptos, alongside those that wanted to exchange money or make payments more affordably and conveniently. Because of this, a growing list of companies was waking up to this segment and accepting cryptos such as Bitcoin as payment.

Prior to this recent announcement, Pick n Pay had implemented a pilot project that lasted five months. Ten stores were selected in the Western Province of the country, and preselected testers paid using cryptos at those stores. This recent announcement is riding on the success of that initial test run, and 29 stores will participate in the latest phase of the pilot project. If everything goes according to plan, Pick n Pay will roll out this crypto payment option to all the stores it owns around the country. This rollout will be gradual and is expected to take several months, according to the company statement.

CryptoConvert and Electrum are partnering with Pick n Pay in this second phase of the pilot program. Electrum has a platform that is being leveraged to create a link between Pick n Pay and CryptoConvert. Through CryptoConvert, Pick n Pay customers are enabled to complete their transactions at a till in the retailer’s store. CryptoConvert was created to make it possible for merchants to be paid in cryptos such as Bitcoin.

CryptoConvert says the use of cryptos as a payment method is still in its early days in South Africa, but the rate at which this option is being adopted by those underserved by mainstream financial institutions suggests that the future will be bright for cryptos since they are addressing an unmet need in South Africa. As more people and companies start accepting cryptos, enterprises operating in this industry such as Marathon Digital Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: MARA)  are poised to grow and proliferate.

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