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WATCH: Buying dried fruit with Bitcoin. Pick n Pay shows off ‘world-first’ trial.

JOHANNESBURG — Retailer Pick n Pay has shown off something quite interesting. In partnership with a Cape Town payments company called Electrum, the retailer has just finished trialling a Bitcoin payment pilot — for a short period of time — at Pick n Pay’s head office campus store. The payment system used local Bitcoin wallet service Luno to complete transactions. Pick n Pay, though, has said in reports that it’s far from implementing the technology and that it won’t be rolling out Bitcoin payments just yet. Nevertheless, it’s an interesting development, especially when considering that transaction charges on Bitcoin are very low and could be a viable competitive payment method for many South Africans looking to save further on their grocery bills. – Gareth van Zyl

Blog post by Electrum*

In what is potentially a world first for a major grocery retailer, Electrum has enabled Pick n Pay to accept Bitcoin payments in-store. As a result of this ground breaking innovation project, for a limited time customers at Pick n Pay’s head office campus store have been able to use the Bitcoin cryptocurrency to purchase groceries and services. The checkout process is as simple as scanning a QR code using a Bitcoin wallet app on the customer’s smartphone.

Jason Peisl, IS Executive at Pick n Pay, explains, “At Pick n Pay one of our key values is to embrace change and encourage innovation and leadership. To deliver on that promise we are constantly working with our technology partners to find ways in which we can deliver valuable, innovative services to our customers. Cryptocurrency and Bitcoin are still relatively new payment concepts, yet we have been able to effectively demonstrate how we are able to accept such alternative payments.“

“Cryptocurrency and bitcoin are still relatively new payment concepts, yet we have been able to effectively demonstrate how we are able to accept such alternative payments.”

Electrum provided the cloud-based enterprise payments platform used for the transactions. Electrum MD Dave Glass says, “We’ve worked closely with PnP for several years as a key technology provider. Our mission is to support innovative enterprises like Pick n Pay, and together we use the advanced Electrum software-as-a-service technology to move quickly on new opportunities, whilst at the same time delivering the best possible shopping experience“.

The Bitcoin infrastructure for the project was provided by Luno, a global Bitcoin company, active in Southeast Asia and Africa, and with an office in Cape Town. Luno enables South African consumers to easily buy, sell, send and spend Bitcoin.

  • Cape Town-based Electrum provides enterprise software that represents the next generation of payments technology.
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